My friend Denise has two Labrador retriever dogs. Grace is a yellow lab and she lives up to her breed; from the moment she is let out of the house she wants to play ball and if left to her own devices would chase the ball until she dropped dead from exhaustion. Fortunately her master Denise knows when it is time to end the game. Oliver the black lab is altogether quite different, he could come from a blood line called Labrador ball hog dogs because once he gets the ball he just wants keep it and chew on it. When he does that, Denise tells him to drop it and reluctantly he does. Denise knows what is best for her dogs, they trust her, they love her and they know she loves them.
I have things that I want to chase until I nearly drop over dead from exhaustion and/or reluctantly “drop”; and they are people and things in which I have placed my trust and hope. Trust and hope are two sides of the same coin, trust is where I choose to place my confidence and hope the expectation that something I want to happen will happen. I have fallen for the lie that just maybe someone or something will satisfy or save me and be the solution to my problems therefore filling the hole in my soul. And not surprisingly, time and time again I came up short, feeling empty and perhaps even hurt on the inside. Things such as: jobs; relationships; behaviors of self or others; friends; someone else’s sobriety; the weather (I am a farmers wife after all); bank account balance, health; looks; children; athletic performance; marriage; the government; drugs or alcohol; food; what the scale says; the good opinion of others; busyness or activity, clothing; cars; being right; a fine home; the number of social media hits or likes; good deeds; and so forth and so on.
The mighty warrior, yet often broken and humble King David reminds us, “For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.” Psalms 44:6. Don’t misunderstand me, many of these things are not bad in and of themselves; some are necessary – but when my peace of mind and the state of my soul depends upon faith in things that were not meant to last, they are bound to fail me which makes them false hope. Not good things to place my trust in. People and things may improve the quality of my life and bring me temporary joy and happiness, and pay the bills (a good thing), but they were never meant to be where I put trust and my hope. Like Grace and Oliver, at some point in life I have to stop the game and drop the ball. Let me be clear, I am not saying I have to give up my friends or my job or my spouse, what I am saying is that I must give up the idea that they are where my trust should be or my hope lies. So when and if my Master says the game is over or asks me to let go of something or someone my whole world doesn’t come crashing down around my ears. He is the only safe place to put my trust. He is the only one that offers unfailing hope. And He is 100% all of the time worthy of both my trust and hope because He is 100% all of the time good for his word. He and he alone knows what is best for me. I trust Him, I love Him and I know he loves me.
King David also said:
“And now Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.” Psalms 39:7 KJV