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An Old Hope

We don't enjoy being told "no" or having our requests denied. We like being told our favorite word, "yes," when it comes to getting our way. When we don't get our way, it conflicts with our plans and desires. That may lead to that which makes us nervous - the uncertainty of the future. We struggle with ambiguity. We hate not knowing the answer to "what is going to happen to me in the future," "why won't you grant me this," and "why do bad things happen to 'good' people" among other questions. To complicate matters, sometimes "yes" brings its own uncertainty and ambiguity. In our requests and prayers, we want a simple, single, "yes," because we would like our requests granted unequivocally: our way, on our timeline, and in the way which gives us exactly what we wanted. However, God grants on His time based on His mercy and grace as fits His plan. This is far more complex than the simple "yes" we so desire. The answers to our requests are often more along the lines of this: "You will get what you need, and this is not what you need." We don't hear these answers out loud, of course. Many of God's responses to our pleas aren't made evident until years after we've prayed. In many cases we will never understand entirely why we saw the outcomes we did regarding our prayers. Today we see tumultuous times in society, and maybe that causes us to worry about where we're heading as a people. Whether we think we don't seem to know or we don't seem to understand, God does. Also, just because we are without a simple "yes," to any of our pleas, it does not mean we are without hope. In fact, the recognition of hope is exactly what we must remember to get through times of uncertainty.

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Ben McManus


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