My husband and I went away a couple of weeks ago for a long weekend. We spent two days in a beautiful location at a cabin outside of Chattanooga and then a night in Chattanooga. A year ago, I was supposed to fly to Florida to take a certification in training athletes, but because of Henry's illness I had to cancel. So we had plane tickets that had to be used, which is why we planned this last minute trip. Henry is still not himself and it continues to be very frustrating. I was chatting with my dear friend Kara on Facebook before our trip and she said that she would be praying for "new hope". That night, I wrote the words "new hope" in my journal.
The cabin is actually located in Alabama about forty-five minutes from Chattanooga. We approached the exit for the cabin and I am not kidding...do you know what the sign said? New Hope. I wanted to take a picture, but I couldn't get my phone out fast enough. And if you blink, you would miss New Hope because it is small. In 2012, the population was 2,802. And isn't that like life? I want new hope to come more like a big city than a small town, the questions answered, my son healed, life working out the way I want it to. But often it comes and if you aren't paying attention, you will miss it.
Our time at the cabin was quiet, peaceful, and relaxing. I spent a lot of time writing and drawing in my journal. In the cabin, there was art on the walls that had verses from the Bible. One of the verses was from Hebrews and it prompted me to spend time in that book while we were there. I was reading in Hebrews 11 in The Message and decided to underline every time the words "by faith" or "by an act of faith" appeared. I counted twenty-nine times. I wrote in my journal Hebrews 11:13-16, "Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world."
I have been letting all of this sink in over the last couple of weeks. And on Tuesday, I had a wonderful surprise to speak with one of my favorite college professors on the phone. During the conversation, I mentioned that Henry had not been well. I was expressing our frustration. How I am trying to remind Henry and myself that even though we have not found an answer to his health problems, and it doesn't seem like God is leading or directing, God keeps his promises. My professor said, "God is still leading and God is still directing. It's just that your son is sick." I needed to hear that because right now, the leading and directing I want is for my son to be healed. And since I am not getting that it feels like God is silent. But he's not.
Yesterday morning I was reading The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. I read Chapter 7, "The Gaze of the Soul". The verse under the title of the chapter is Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." Tozer writes, "faith is the gaze of the soul upon a saving God." Oh God, my outward eyes see suffering, let my inward eyes be fixed on you, a saving God.
God is leading, speaking, directing through my friend Kara, an exit sign, the beautiful setting of the cabin, verses on the artwork, my college professor, A.W. Tozer. By faith, I am finding new hope.