Words of Hope: Overflowing Hope

I am so thankful my dad called these little devotionals Words of Hope. I bless him for this. His words do give me strength and hope even as I approach the one-year anniversary of his Celebration of Life. What a beautiful event that was. Thank you to all who celebrated Dad’s life with us. I am grateful for the opportunity to thank God for my dad and to remember his lessons to me. 

I open Dad’s Words of Hope book and think about my dad’s lessons to me and my brother Jay about happiness. Dad said the world will encourage us to “do what makes us happy.” Dad was a fantastic teacher. He explained through story and life example how empty that promise is. “Happiness,” he would say, “is like trying to hold water in your hands. You grasp it fleetingly for a moment, and it runs dry. Think about opening a gift at Christmas, there is a glimmer of intense happiness but then the feeling dies and you long for the next present, the next moment. Traveling to an amazing location, getting the bonus, winning the event, all these bring a fleeting feeling of being happy, but it isn’t lasting, and it leaves you drained, looking for more.” Isn’t that so true? I see this more and more in my life. When I was young, some celebrities looked like they owned the world, they had so much happening for them, but now, as we get glimpses of their private lives, we see the empty, tawdry, brokenness of battered relationships and spiritual despair.  

Today, on the anniversary of Dad’s COL, I consider the state of my life. What am I celebrating? What am I grasping after? What am I claiming will make me happy that really is a fistful of water? I want my eyes to be on Jesus and my trust in Him alone, then the God of Hope will fill me with all joy and peace so that I will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Overflowing hope, this is what I want to hold on to today. 

The Lord is my shepherd, 

I shall not want. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures; 

He leads me beside quiet waters. 

He restores my soul; 

He guides me in the paths of righteousness 

For His name’s sake. 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

 I fear no evil, for You are with me; 

 Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 

 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 

 You have anointed my head with oil; 

 My cup overflows. 

 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, 

 And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:1-6-