A Cup of Hope by Emilie Barnes is just one of those books you stumble upon, and you suddenly know, “This one is going to change everything!”
I blog about hope.
I can’t breathe in this busted broken world a single moment without it—but sometimes—the candle of hope in me burns low. And, when it does I beg the LORD for a fresh infusion; a fresh outpouring from His Spirit to mine.
Thanks Emilie, for being His conduit.
I’ll let Emilie speak for herself for the rest of this post. Her words shine still in this dark world. They come to us straight from the shores of heaven, to all of us here today, to light our way.
~ FAITH FOR THE CLIMB ~
You just can’t see as much when you’re climbing the mountain as you can from the top.
I guess that’s obvious if you’re hiking in the Rockies or the Smokies or the Himalayas. But it’s not always so evident when you’re just trying to get through life.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell which of the two tempting directions is the best to take. Is it better to take the meandering trail or the steep climb over the rocks? Should you push on harder to reach the top? Should you rest and take your time and risk bad weather later on?
And sometimes you get so confused and discouraged and downright weary, you’re tempted to just give up hope altogether.
But it helps to keep in mind exactly what’s going on.
You’re climbing a mountain, remember, and one day you’ll reach the top. One day you’ll be able to stand and look out over all the valleys—even look back at the winding path that brought you to the top—and it will all become clear.
I try to think of that on the days when I’m fatigued or in pain or just discouraged, when I’m confused and worried about what will happen next.
I’m still on the mountain, so I’ve got to remember that my perspective is faulty. I just don’t have the whole picture the way God does, the way I will have it someday.
Oh, I have some pretty good hints. I have instructions from the One who created the mountain. I have stories from climbers who have gone on the path before me and companions who are climbing with me. (How I depend on their help and encouragement!) And of course I have those moments along the way when wonderful vistas suddenly unfold before me, when I round a corner to see the checkered valleys spread out below and the summit shining whitely up above.
I have all that to enable me as I climb up this mountain called Life. You do, too. I really believe that the God who created us and redeemed us has equipped us with what we need to make it to the top.
Still, we have to face the fact that some of the time, maybe most of the time, we won’t be able to see exactly where we’re going.
But that’s where faith comes in. Faith always travels hand in hand with hope—it’s what enables us to keep our hopes up when the way becomes rockier and more obscure. Faith is what we need to keep moving on, moving up, trusting our Guide, trusting it will all be worth it.
Trusting that if we continue on, we’ll make it to the top and everything will all be clear.
And yes, I know that’s hard to remember when you’re stuck on the mountainside. But it might help to follow this brief checklist for keeping your hopes while you’re climbing hard or when you think you might be lost:
- Trust the climbing map—God’s word—and pay attention to your Guide. You’re not expected to make this climb without help.
- Pace yourself—you don’t have to make it all in one day. Without adequate rest you’ll never make it to the summit.
- Remember where you are and where you’re going—but try to accept that your perspective is limited. (That’s why you have the map and the Guide!)
- Refresh yourself by remembering the goal—and those moments when it was all clear to you.
- Look back to where you’ve been and be grateful for your progress.
- Help and enjoy your fellow climbers.
- Take care of your equipment—your body, mind, and spirit. They’ve been issued to you by God , and they’ll help carry you to where you need to be.
A Cup of Hope is out of print but used copies are still available on Amazon at the link below: