What do you hope for? Is there something that you long to have or see happen? At the beginning of this year, during one of my quiet times, I vividly remember God asking me,
Why do you think so little of Me?”
Surely, I had heard God wrong. Why on earth would I think so little of Him, the creator of heaven and earth [Genesis 14:19, 22]? So, I asked Him,
God, why do you say I think so little of You? I think of you all the time.”
He wasn’t questioning how often I thought of Him, rather how I viewed His capabilities and reach. When I inquired further, He said,
You ask Me for things you can do yourself. Ask me for something hard, something only I could do.”
I sat there for a long time, thinking. Then I grabbed an index card and a Sharpie. Hmmm, what do I really want to see God do? What do I need to see God do in 2012?
- At the time I was preparing for a mission trip to India, a trip that was planned just weeks before. Our team needed to raise a lot of support money quickly to get our team there and we needed to raise funds to put on a youth camp for the missionary we were going to assist. I knew I couldn’t do that just weeks after Christmas. So I put that on the list. Funding for India will exceed what is needed.
- My dear friend in Ghana, Eddie, had informed me his van was about to die. He was able to sell it but didn’t make anywhere near enough money to buy a new one; however, in faith, he paid a dealership all he had as a deposit for a new van. He needed to raise $15,000 in three weeks’ time or he would have to forfeit his deposit. I knew there was no way in the world I could do that, so I put it on the list. Eddie’s van will be purchased in 2012.
- I wanted to see my book, Rescuing Hope, published in 2012. I had been turned down by a traditional publisher. She loved the concept and after reading the first four chapters was impressed. She said, “This needs to be published,” but because I was an unknown author, she wasn’t willing to take the risk. Traditional publishing takes eighteen months to go from contract to print and it was January of 2012. It was a bold statement to write on my index card. I knew there was no way I could make this happen in a million years, so I put it on my list. Rescuing Hope will be published in 2012.
- One of the young ladies I met through my research had been fighting her way out of a life of trafficking. She had fallen victim of two different pimps and had spent time in jail in two different states. She needed to get into a safe environment, she needed to get a job, she needed to have a court case settled (which had the potential to send her back to jail), and she needed to get an education. It seemed like a long shot or a God shot, so I put it on the list. “Hope” will be healed.
What do you need for God to do in your life? Are you willing to hope? Are you willing to trust your desires and dreams to Him? Joseph did and it worked out well for him, better than he could have imagined [Genesis 37- Genesis 50]. Nehemiah desired to return to his homeland and rebuild the wall around Jerusalem [Nehemiah 1:3-11]. He could never succeed in his own strength; however, God did amazing things through him [Nehemiah 12:27-47].
As for me and my list, well….
- We raised more than enough money in two months’ time to pay for the expenses of our entire team and pay for the cost of youth camp for all of the students so the missionary didn’t have to provide any of the funds for the camp. We were also able to bless her with sound equipment, games, and financially before we departed.
- Eddie received the funds necessary to secure the new van in time. He dedicated it to God and took his first mission team of the year on their journey through Ghana in the new van.
- I met Brian Shivler of Resolution Hope the month after I made my list and he said he wanted to launch Rescuing Hope at his New Year’s Eve 13A campaign event, which meant we’d have to self-publish to guarantee delivery on time. The author’s copy arrived last week and the event copies are due to be delivered two days after Christmas. It will be available for purchase on December 31, 2012 (That’s as close to 2012 as you can get, but it made the cut).
- My sweet friend, well, she got away from both of her pimps, she’s in a safe environment, the court case ended favorable for her without any jail time, she has a job, she’s in college, and she’s still working on putting the pieces of her life back together, but she’s well on her way to having a life she dreamed of and it’s not the end of the year. Who knows what else God will do in her life these next few days.
Will you allow God to rescue your hope this Christmas?
I was willing to take my hopes, write them down and trust them to God. He is faithful [Deuteronomy 7:9]. He is trustworthy [2 Samuel 7:28, Psalm 111:7].
What are you hoping for? I challenge you to take out an index card and write down what you hope to see happen in 2013. Put it somewhere visible so you’ll see it often and remind Him in prayer how you’re counting on Him to move in your life.
I’m already beginning to ponder my new list.
One thing I want to see in 2013 is for Rescuing Hope to become a catalyst of conversation among people across the nation to make others aware of modern day slavery in our nation, our cities, and our neighborhoods. Awareness is the first step in advancing the movement against human sex trafficking.
What will be on your list?