The Rope and the Pit of Lions

It will always come to a point where your hope will be tested, that no matter how well you try to dress it with positivity, it will always, always find an excuse to be weak. Because that’s easier. Yes, it is way easier to just let go of the rope than hang on, especially when your hands start to burn and splinter. 

“No one expects me to be strong in this kind of situation,” your shaky hope will say, and then you’ll find, without much struggle, your whole being agreeing to it.

“I have every right to let go,” again, your shaky hope will reason, and before you know it, you will completely lose grip of the rope that’s supposed ro be keeping you steady. 

And you fall…

In a pit of desolation. You’ll find out that it’s okay to be alone sometimes… but only until it becomes too dark. And from the shadows of the pit you’re in, you’ll hear them. 

The silent taunting and growling. The sly shuffling of feet as they move towards you. 

Lions.

With their eyes glinting in the darkness, all hungry and pleased to see you. And that flickering hope you have will tell you that this is the end. There’s no escape. This is your home now. Here with the lions. 

And so as they step closer and closer, you’ll let them take you. “This is the end,” you’ll say. “I’ve let go and this is the way.”

Yes, dear hope, we can end the story here. But do you really want to?

Pause

People often think that pausing is a sign of weakness–an indication of reaching the end of your strength…of not having enough power and will to fight your battles. 

I don’t think that’s true all the time. 

In fact, I believe that every pause holds a certain power. That it is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. Because only strong people can admit to themselves that they need to take a break. So they can start again. They don’t work thoughtlessly until they’ve ran out of energy so they can just stop where they are. Rather, they pause so they can gather the strength and will to keep going. 

A pause is not a stop. It is not saying “I give up,” but saying “let me think of a way to get through this.” Yes, sometimes it would mean “I’m tired,” but it will never be too tired to say “I can no longer go on.”

A pause never says “I quit.”

So can HOPE pause, too? 

My answer is yes, as long as it desires to keep hoping. Because when HOPE stops, LOVE ends. And what valid reason do we have to stop loving?

Chosen and Loved

Deuteronomy 7:6-9

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his chosen possession.

The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, because you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 

Deuteronomy 10: 12-16

What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

The Lord your God belong to the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.

~*

We all want to be chosen. Deep in our hearts, we know we want to be that person that someone sets his eyes on. To be showered with affection by the ones we love and care about.

And so we go great lengths just to have this affection. We try too much, and to hard. We want that approval. That pat on the back. That “job well done.” We long to be the recipient of someone’s “Out of all the people in this world, I chose you. There’s something special about you, that I just can’t take my eyes off you.”

But we are looking for this affection in the wrong places, from the wrong people. For whatever affirmation this world can give us will never be enough. There will always be that thing that we will always look for. Somehow, there will always be that void that we will always try harder and harder to fill. Nothing in this world can ever satisfy.

Because only God can.

Because He chose you.

Because He loves you.