Friday, December 18, 2015

Irrational Hope

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"Again Isaiah says,
Then, the root of Jesse will emerge—
He rises to rule all the peoples of the world
    who come to Him for guidance and direction.
In Him they place their hope.
I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:12-13 (The Voice)
I've decided to work with my son on communicating by a form of supported typing.  I've been thinking about this for quite some time, so took hold of my courage recently, and scheduled an assessment for him with a speech therapist who specializes in this area.  Now, to be clear, my son has previously shown very few signs that he recognizes letters and thinks they are significant in any way.  As the assessment progressed, with surprisingly positive results, I found myself in an internal war.  Could it be? Should I believe? Could J. be understanding and possibly.... typing??  My mind ran the range of other possibilities, including the therapist being a scam artist.  And yet, I was the one who thought this was possible.  Why else would I have been willing to do the assessment?  But now, I was afraid to hope.
The field of positive psychology has exploded the value of hope, highlighting what the Scriptures have taught for thousands of years.  Hope helps us set goals that connect with our positive anticipation, create plans to pursue what we hope for, effectively overcome barriers and live in motivated, self-determined ways.  Romans 15 says that all this is anchored to the Source of all hope, who fills our lives with joy and peace, making hope overflow. So, as I remind myself of my connection with the Hope Giver, I weigh the options: hope or don't hope.  If I hope that my son can have an alternative way to communicate, I act in that hope and look for opportunities to realize that for him.  If I don't hope, I don't act, I don't anticipate.  How can he be motivated and anticipate positive outcomes and work towards them if I can't?  How can he see the Invisible, if I won't?
So, in this season of Advent, I chose hope.  The Savior, who is coming, is also here and is the Source of hope.  He will infuse joy and peace so that hope will overflow.  
Lord, come to us in this season. Fill our hearts with irrational hope for your presence in unlikely places. Amen.

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