Hope Again

Once I was flying to London and the weather was so foggy that my plane was unable to land. We circled in the air for about thirty minutes, and then the pilot’s voice sounded over the intercom, “Looks like it’ll just be another 30 minutes, folks. Hang in there.”

30 minutes came and went.

Then an hour crept past.

And then the pilot again, apologetically this time: “Sorry for the delay, everybody. The fog is unusually thick. It shouldn’t be much longer now, though.”

Apparently we were circling in the air over and over again, waiting for the pilot to receive the go-ahead to take us in for a landing. Literally hours went by—if I remember right, I think it may have been 4 and a half hours?—and the attendants even came out and served drinks and snacks free of charge as an apology and a strategic way to keep tensions and impatience low.

Finally, as we couldn’t simply float in the air indefinitely, we were routed to a nearby airport in a neighboring nation (honestly I can’t remember which, as I was thoroughly exhausted), and shuttled to the London airport. This side excursion tacked on an additional 6 or 7 hours.

While I hadn’t bargained for such a time-consuming and patience-testing adventure, I was beyond relieved and quite thrilled to finally make it to my destination.

Now, you may have never been circling indefinitely on a plane waiting to land, but you may well be acquainted with waiting. And waiting. And waiting

Perhaps God made a promise to you many years ago, but presently you feel like you’re idling. Or maybe He declared something beautiful over your life, and sure, it once was thrilling but the fulfillment seems a long way off now. Maybe impossible. Or maybe the goal was almost, almost, within reach, but all of a sudden you got rerouted. And the pressure of circling in the air for so long raises some concerns—the frustration of wandering and waiting mounts. Cue that familiar inner monologue:

“Did I hear God right?”
“It’s been so long—is it appropriate for me to let go now?”
“Maybe I missed it.”
“How do I explain this to everybody around me?”
“The longer I wait, the more impossible it gets.”

Can you relate?

Today, friend, let me encourage you. It’s time to get your hopes up again! Yes, the toll of indefinite waiting and praying can drain the soul to sorrow. I understand that full well. And absolutely, God uses the waiting season as a process of sorts to both facilitate His timing and prepare us for what’s ahead. But I feel burning on my heart that, even in the loss and frustration and disappointment and suffering that comes with lengthy airplane-circling, it’s time to believe God again! Now is the time to expectantly start looking up once more!

Romans 4 describes Abraham’s situation—which was also an expression of extended waiting and long hoping—by claiming that Abraham believed in “God, who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were” (verse 17). And that, my stronger-than-you-think-you-are-friend, is a fabulous foundation to build hope on! The chapter goes on to indicate that Abraham persevered in hoping when the odds were perilously stacked against him, that he didn’t weaken in faith when faced with the so-called facts, that he didn’t waver in unbelief or teeter in doubt, and that he “was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised”!

I trust you must know, somewhere deep down, that God has power to do what He has promised you. You may have given up on the promise, but God has not surrendered His faithfulness! You might feel the weight of discouragement, but God still fully intends to accomplish what He said He would do!

Your situation may spell out despair, futility, forgotten-ness, anger, and heartache, but through Jesus, such things are actually signs that a resurrection is about to happen!

So, listen… breathe in the courage that the Holy Spirit offers you this very moment—yes, breathe in His courage—and dare to hope again. However frightening it may be, hope again. Dare to recall that happy promise Jesus gave you years ago, and hope again. God is in a good mood, and He will reward your hope by doing the very thing He promised. He is faithful. Your plane will land.

My heart,
Josh

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