“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13)
Two months ago to date, I was lying in a hospital bed with a tiny bundle of joy — beginning my recovery from a c-section after the delivery of my second daughter — Hadley Joy. Her arrival was the fulfillment of much longing and expectation after the traumatic and extremely premature miracle delivery of my first born, five years before.
Throughout most of this pregnancy, I experienced great peace and ease; and as the scheduled delivery date got closer, I started preparing for the “perfect” hospital stay — thinking through items I’d pack, such as a forest green pajama set with a matching robe, and a coordinating floral swaddle for the baby; a selection of cosmetic items into a new toiletry bag meant to bring me joy; I shopped for my favorite snacks that I would consume after delivery — I started to prepare for an experience that was meant be nothing like the first one I had.
Though this hospital experience ended up being nothing like the first one I had with a vulnerable child in the NICU for many weeks, it was also not the experience I hoped to have. Despite my carefully designed hospital preparations (which also included a portable tea boiler), most of what I had packed and prepared for was irrelevant to the needs I had during the longer than anticipated hospital stay that occurred due to an unexpected turn in my own health post delivery.
Why? Because you can’t curate true joy and peace with a luxury tea bag and dark chocolate peanut butter cups. They aren’t what you most need when you’re hooked up to an IV drip, and waiting for your release — they most certainly aren’t who you need.
Who I needed and found during that hospital stay, and who I need now and always is the “God of hope”, whose primary attribute is unwavering expectation to make good on a promise to bring death to life when things look especially bleak. Belief in this God in those moments unlock His gifts of joy and peace, and when experienced produce a cycle of hope activated by the Holy Spirit. The God of hope, produces hope in us, by way of peace and joy, because He can’t produce anything else!
Prayer of Response:
God, thank you for being the author of hope in us, and continuously making a way when we see no way. Thank you for being the ultimate benefactor of joy and peace in our lives as we trust you, so that we may overflow with hope by the power of your Holy Spirit!
Questions to Ponder:
- What is a current circumstance in your life that you long to see the “God of Hope” show up in?
- Is there anything you need to surrender in order to trust Him to be the “God of Hope” in this part of your life?
—Submitted by Christy Cooper
Christy and her husband Mathew live in Arcadia, California with one precocious almost-five-year old (Eliza Mae), one precious two-month old (Hadley Joy), and one rambunctious beagle-mix (Winnie Evangeline)! She is a lover of God’s presence and a pursuer of His truth. Currently, she serves as a lay-leader at her church and has a heart for young families to be built up in faith.