“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)
Hope is powerful. It is what keeps us focused and moving forward. It is the spark we hold deep within us, fueling our dreams and future.
We all hope for something —a job, the love of our life, a baby, being healed, a dream trip, healthy relationships, or that house by the lake.
For our family back in 2009, it was a house in our hometown of Glendora, where my husband and I grew up. Glendora was the little town where people knew your name and said hi in the grocery store. It was where my parents lived and where we went to church.
We were just a city away, but we were ready to move back to Glendora, where we enrolled our kids in three different schools that year: elementary, middle, and high school.
Our family prayed around the dinner table each night. We put in offers for potential homes throughout that spring, but still, nothing worked out. That didn’t stop me from boxing up each room in the house and putting it in a moving storage container in our driveway, ready to go, just in case.
We continued to hope and pray that we would move into the right house for us before our boys started school in August.
That summer, our family attended Family Camp at Forest Home. I remember sitting alone in the quaint chapel, nestled in the pine trees early one morning. I was praying and asking God to make a way for us to have a home in Glendora if that would be His will.
I wrote my prayer in one of the many prayer books inside this chapel. During that same week, we all wrote a letter to ourselves about some takeaways from the week. I wrote in that letter that I wasn’t sure if my current address would still be correct, as I addressed it, hoping in my heart that it wouldn’t be.
My husband and I had learned from mentors and experts over the years in our Sunday Homebuilders class that it was important for our home to be a safe and fun place for our boys to bring home friends. We wanted to create a space where we could host youth groups, Bible studies, game nights, and enjoy time with our friends and family.
We revisited a newly built house we once saw two years prior, but it was out of our price range. With the housing market crash, the owner-builder was motivated to sell after holding it for two years.
This house was one of ten built on the old Glenkirk Church property—the same place I first raised my hand in junior high to know Jesus more. It was the only church that had felt like home.
The builder-owner was willing to negotiate the price at this point. We continued to pray that we could move in before school started. By God’s grace, we bought that house we now call home. We knew it was a gift orchestrated by God and to be used for ministry, small group gatherings, and His purposes.
We moved in two days before school started, and I could walk my boys to school! I am still in awe that the place I called my first church home and learned about Jesus, I call my family home. That was fourteen years ago this August!
Since then, we have been blessed to raise our four boys in this house. “If you feed them, they will come” was my motto, and they did! Many friends gathered around our table; we hosted VBS leaders for BBQs as they practiced their skits, Young Life group, the boys’ small groups, pre and post-ACTION night, cross-country spaghetti dinners, graduations, and engagement parties. Our house was full, and we were grateful.
God is so good to our hearts. He is the God of hope. We can trust in Him for His perfect timing, plan, and purpose. In Isaiah 55:9 it says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
God can handle our hopes, dreams, thoughts, fears, and concerns. He knows each of his own, including the number of hairs on our heads.
Romans 15:13 says that as we trust in God, turning over our hopes to him, we can experience joy and peace. Giving over to God what we are shouldering and letting the Creator of heaven and earth take control—we receive joy and peace.
God is always faithful to answer in His timing, and He will do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
Question: What hopes, dreams, or concerns are in your heart? Are you willing to trust God and experience His joy and peace?
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