Tethered By Hope

Expectations are a funny thing. They can be high or low, and they tend to sneak up on us when we least expect it. The funny thing about expectations is that we don’t realize we have them until they go unmet. I know we can all identify with the feeling of disappointment over unmet expectations.

Here is my short list of what I expect:

...family to be there for each other.

...friendship to be a two-way street.

...Christians to pursue & follow Jesus.

...to be treated with common courtesy.

Are your expectations anything like mine? Then I am certain you have been let down also. It is natural to expect people to act in a normal standard of behavior, but our experience or definition of normal may not be that for others. These expectations seem logical, reasonable and innocent, but let’s take a closer look. Did you notice each one of my expectations have to do with people? It may not seem like a big deal, because we usually expect the same thing from ourselves. But the point is, whatever our expectation is, that is where our hope is. We tie our hope, faith and trust to desire in our relationships and our circumstances in life. Do we truly want to put all our hope in places that are risky? Our hope is precious, it is energizing, and it can be a source of life during the hard moments we face. 

Let’s stop throwing our hope around, recklessly tying it to unreliable and imperfect things. Although I love my family, I cannot put my hope in them. Friendship is such a treasure to me, but I do not put my hope there. I value being part of a community of believers, but it isn’t what I rely on. I enjoy the interactions I have with strangers when I’m out and about, sharing common curtesy, but I do not demand or expect it. We need to remember we live in a broken world, with broken people. Even the most healed and dynamic people are not perfect. There is only one perfect, unmoving, trustworthy place we can tie our hope. When we find our refuge in the love of our Heavenly Father, we can tie our hope to something that will never move or change. Our hope is tethered to the Ancient One, who was and always will be. 

Consider this passage in Hebrews 6:18-20 NLT- “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.”

If you are clinging to our Heavenly Father, the finished work of Jesus and The Holy Spirit, take a moment to envision the hope you are holding onto. This hope is sure and strong, made up of a 3 strand cord of the triune nature of God, which transcends time, anchoring you to His promises, the death and resurrection of Christ, and goes into the presence of God in the Holiest Place of All, behind the curtain of heaven, where Jesus has already gone. 

Let's continue to love family, treasure friendship, value community, enjoy interaction with strangers, but make sure our hope is anchored to our Heavenly Father, who loves us.

 -Tami Gaupp-