Advent 4: Hope – Micaela Miller
As I thought about the theme “Hope”, the first question that popped into my mind was, “What do I hope for?”. If I am honest, my hope is often small and misplaced. Kevin and I have been going through a time of transition that has led to his resignation from his job as a civil engineer to a move into ministry. We still need to pay the bills, so my hope lately has been in securing a permanent position at work to replace my temporary position that ends in April. I’ve invested a lot of prayer and hope in getting that permanent appointment. Especially in this economic climate, having that secure position is a big deal.
I just received that permanent position this past week. While I don’t want to diminish this answer to prayer, I am now reflecting on how paltry my hope has been lately, focusing only on what’s right ahead. When Kevin and I were thinking about marriage, a verse that came up repeatedly for us was “now to him who is able to do abundantly more than we can ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20). It’s so easy to lose sight of the abundance God has promised. To think that he won’t actually accomplish it, thinking that I need to make sure it happens.
I’m in good company though. When God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, Sarah laughed. When Abraham decided God was taking too long, he took matters into his own hands and had a son with Hagar. But then what does Scripture say? “The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised” (Gen. 21:1). Not only that, but he kept his promise to all of us, through Abraham and Sarah. Another Son, a different time, to a woman named Mary.
How much more than Abraham and Sarah could have asked or imagined! The Son, Emmanuel: God with us, here to save us.
How often have I hoped for just that one little, overwhelming, thing I need. When all the while God is working a great redemption. Yet he still cares about me and the job that I need, just as he cared about Abraham and Sarah’s desire for a son. As he responds to me, it gives me hope that he does hear and keep his promises. I am encouraged to hope an even greater hope: that even in my shortsightedness, he is redeeming in ways that I can’t even begin to see or imagine. Like the old man Simeon, waiting patiently in the temple until the day he finally held the baby Jesus, my hope is that I will be able to say, “Sovereign Lord, as you promised, I have seen your salvation” (Luke 2:29-30).
And it will be abundantly more than I could have asked for or imagined.