#NameyourDay – ‘Today,’ I name you HOPE: Isaiah 43:18,19.
A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to visit and travel throughout Alaska. On one of our adventures, my cousin (who was traveling with me) and I enjoyed an 11-hour school bus tour (yes, actually ENJOYED 11 hours on a school bus!) through Denali National Park. The scenery was beyond breathtaking; what took my breath away was the vast and constantly changing yet dramatically different landscapes every time the bus came around a bend. Not far into our trip to Wonder Lake (and hopefully a glimpse of Mt. McKinley still 25 miles away from the lake), perhaps after the first bend in the road, the driver slowed down and drew our attention to the way a river flowed. The flow of the largest river was actually creating several smaller river channels, thus beginning the formation of new, smaller streams and rivers. This creation of the smaller river channels is called ‘river braiding’.
A braided river is one that is divided into smaller channels by temporary islands (eyots). Braided channels tend to form in rivers that have significant sedimentary loads, steep declines, and where the amount of those loads fluctuates regularly. When the river’s capacity to carry the sedimentary load is exceeded, the river deposits its load into new channels. A new channel or pathway is formed thus creating a new river where one did not previously exist.
“But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness, I will create rivers in the wasteland” ~Isaiah 43:18,19 NLT
When it seems like the realities of my life do little more than create a sense of hopelessness, I can remain confident, I can be full of HOPE, that God is busy braiding the rivers that threaten to overwhelm me with their excessive loads.
Confident?? Hopeful?? Really?? Seriously??
I can live in a place of HOPE and trust when I accept God’s invitation – “Do you not see it?” – to observe and eagerly anticipate His goodness towards me. When I offer thanks in the midst of the messiness, my thanksgiving is worship because it implies posturing myself in absolute expectation of what God is doing and what God is going to do. When I posture myself in absolute expectation, I position myself in a place of trust and I begin to look eagerly for the new thing, look eagerly for the new rivers and pathway channels God is creating. When I begin to give thanks for all I have seen, my gratitude infuses HOPE into the hopelessness; it allows HOPE to arise within me.
“. . . [T]o gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.” ~Psalm 27:4b
The looking – giving thanks – is a dare to seek His face, a dare to begin to eagerly anticipate, a dare to expect to see God in this place, a dare to see Him in the moment. When we accept the dare to seek His face, HOPE arises within us.
Will you accept the dare to seek His face and allow HOPE to arise? Where has He braided rivers for you?