Hope – The Need to Wake Up

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:18-25 ESV http://bible.com/59/rom.8.18-25.esv

“”Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”” Matthew 22:36-40 ESV http://bible.com/59/mat.22.36-40.esv

What do I hope for, a life without suffering, a love for my neighbor. My love for myself seems shallow, like I’m wading in a kiddie pool while all along the deep blue ocean is steps away. Is my hope deep enough and wide enough to include that which I do not yet see? “Hope that is seen is not hope.” So I long for the day when my body is redeemed, when I am set free from the addiction that keeps me captive.

Every day is a struggle to stay sober. Words and images gush into my head calling me to do that which I do not want to do. I am agitated like a trapped wild animal licking its wounds. I am vulnerable to attack. ““But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”James 1:14 ESV I am lured into jumping from the cliff into the abyss. It is deep and dark. I am tempted to be alone in the darkness, to hide from contact with others.

I grown inwardly to be adopted into the household of God. There is great inner conflict. My natural state is to medicate loneliness with isolation. But, I know the way to healing leads through relationships. There is pain in the open wounds produced by confession. But the healing balm is honesty, first with myself and then with others. Greater love has no man but this, that he lay down his life for another. Am I able to accept this deep love from another? My embarrassment overshadows my ability to accept such love as this. Knowing that I am weak and in need, that I am powerless to do anything about my own addiction, that I need God and others in order to be free keeps me from full surrender.

Yet, not my will but thy will be done. I will wait for hope with patience. I do not see the end where I will be made perfect and complete lacking nothing, but that is what I will hope for, a time and a place where I am a new creature, the old has passed away and everything is new.

“The battle against inertia. In the life and in myself. This is the great thing. The constant struggle to break through illusion and falsity and come to Christ and freedom. How often we fail . . . The conviction that I have not even begun to write, to think, to pray, and to live, and that only now am I getting down to waking up.”– Thomas Merton, June 22, 1958

Beloved Father, I am in your hands, I bow myself under your correction and discipline. – Thomas A Kempis

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