Skidding into a Steadfast Hope

A quick (but extremely thorough) bout with a stomach virus provided some quiet in which to ponder the word “hope” in my preparation for this week’s study of Hebrews 6.  Skidding to a stop, writing not one word, reading not one sentence, resting in the enforced quiet, I was able to see some road signs that the busy blur had obscured.

I’m learning that blogging can be an exercise in hope.  Floating words out into an unseen readership that shifts from day to day keeps me wondering if the words I write will reach eyes who need them, and January was especially unusual.  “Wow, look at that,” I thought to myself as, for a couple of days, the tiny bar graph leapt toward the heavens.  And then there was the return to earth, and suddenly my “daily views” didn’t seem like enough anymore.  The thought came to me in the midst of my virus-riddled thinking:

It’s just as easy for me to lose my hope in God when things are going really well as it is when times are rough.

At the end of the skid came the realization that I had begun to put my hope in numbers, a completely unworthy object.

The writer of Hebrews speaks of a hope that is an anchor for the soul, a mighty hope sworn by the immutable God concerning my future in heaven and the security of my soul in the meantime.

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,”  Hebrews 6:19.

Notice the strange configuration of images attached to this anchor.  I’m no sailor, but the anchors I have seen always hang downward when they are doing their job.  This anchor is running into the Holy of Holies, through the veil that was split by Jesus’ redemptive death.  Spreading His own blood on the altar of sacrifice on my behalf, Jesus made atonement for me, and as my Great High Priest, he has secured a hope of future blessing that should be impacting the way I view every aspect of life — that is, if I have eyes to see.  This hope becomes a lens, bringing focus to the mundane duties here at home and clarity to my motivation for any ministry activity.

Looking over my shoulder at the long skid leading to this pondering of the steadfast hope, I see in God’s invitation to lay hold of the hope set before me an implicit promise:

He is holding me in that hope.

Listening to a sermon by John Piper in preparation for next Sunday’s class, I was reassured that even though I become distracted by other lesser hopes, my end of the rope is not left dangling.  The security of my anchorage in Christ does not depend upon these weak hands or my shifting loyalties.  Rather, my continual holding fast is a work of God.

How delightful that the Apostle Paul strengthens this reciprocal metaphor of holding on and being held:

“I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me,” Philippians 3:12.

Through Christ’s enabling, we take up the rope holding fast to the anchor which has been sunk deep into the soil at the bottom of the New Covenant.  This (and only this) is a hope through which to view with peace the rolling billows of everyday life.

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Thanks for joining us in our study of The Epistle to the Hebrews, a letter to a congregation of struggling Jewish Christians written by an unknown author sometime before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  My Sunday school class and I will be landing on a few verses in each chapter with the goal of getting an overview of this fascinating and complex book.  These mid-week reflections and observations are intended to initiate a deeper pondering of the week’s assignment in preparation for our discussion the following Sunday. This is the seventh week in the series, and if you’re interested, here’s last week’s blog post.

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Michele Morin

I am a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. I have been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 27 years, and our four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Nonetheless, two teens still remain at home, and along with an incorrigible St. Bernard, we laugh, make messes, clean them up, and then start all over again. I love hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop me in my tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. I lament biblical illiteracy and advocate for the prudent use of "little minutes." I blog at Living Our Days because "the way I live my days will be, after all, the way I live my life." You can connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

40 thoughts on “Skidding into a Steadfast Hope”

  1. Another wonderful post, Michele! I absolutely LOVE the book of Hebrews…I don’t think any of us will ever uncover its depths entirely. I am sorry you have been ill, and do trust you are all better by now. God bless you for your faithfulness to share what He places upon your heart.

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  2. Yep. I needed this encouragement today. It’s just so easy to get sucked into the numbers game (I think it’s because publishers expect authors to do 90% of their own marketing–and to have proof that they have a platform and a following). I need to remember that Jesus is my agent, and he’s in charge of getting the words to the people who need them!

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  3. Oh yes! Where would we be if God was not holding on to us as we reach out to hold His hand as well, Michelle. I’m not happy that you’ve been sick, but what great inspiration and truth came from the quiet time with the Lord! Thank you so much for sharing and reminding us, bloggers, that the numbers don’t really matter. We must do our blogging for an audience of One! Hugs to you!

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  4. “The security of my anchorage in Christ does not depend upon these weak hands or my shifting loyalties. Rather, my continual holding fast is a work of God.” Amen and Thank God!

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  5. Hi Michele! I hope you are feeling much better now. This virus was one that attacked our daughter and one of her daughters. Our granddaughter has bounced back well, but our daughter is still not able to enjoy her food and isn’t sure her whole digestive system is back on track. I sat here reading your post about how you responded to the bar graph on the posts you write and it really encouraged my own heart. I see you as someone whose posts always seem to hit the mark and although I look at my bar graphs with questions such as you suggest, I would not have guessed that you do. Beyond the good teaching on hope that came through all of this, your openness about how writing out here on this medium can impact us was helpful to me to hear from you whose writing I so much respect. Blessings on you!

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    1. Yes, finally trusting my digestive system again. Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad that my thoughts about writing/blogging/questioning were helpful to you. I want to be available to write about the things that God puts on my heart without worrying about how many readers I generate in the process. You are an encouragement to me!

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  6. Hope really is a cornerstone isn’t it? Inspiring Hope is my facebook page actually! I know I can get caught up in the wordly view of success that means high numbers in many places when really I know I am called to be obedient, rather than popular. And know He’s got me, tied to His anchor always. Thank you for that reminder!

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  7. You’ve taken us on a journey with hope, Michele. While I’m sorry you had that nasty bug (and hope you’re feeling 100% once again), I’m thankful for your words penned here. As a sailor’s wife, I can tell you those anchors are essential – and much smaller than anticipated. I’m ever thankful hope in Him is a faithful anchor. #livefreeThursday

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  8. Michele, “blogging is an exercise of hope.” It truly is – reminding us of who and what we are in CHRIST and sharing that HOPE with our friends and family. THAT is the true call of the faith blogger. Amen.

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  9. Two years ago, I began moving my blog into a different direction. I spent many hours for six months focusing on numbers. My sweet husband knew it would take a lot to get it where I wanted, but he told me that it could be that I am to be writing to a certain few. That hit me hard. When I started focusing more on the real matter (sharing my faith) the Lord has opened the door to new readers. Thank you for sharing this encouragement, Michele, and for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

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  10. Oh, Michele, I know the joys and sorrows of looking at numbers … numbers that we hope will open doors. But over and over I am reminded God is the only one worthy of our hope. He is the One who opens and closes doors … in His time for His purpose. Thank you for the reminder, friend. : )

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  11. I’m so glad you are feeling better. I have been getting caught up in readership numbers lately Not a good place to be. I know that my only validation comes from God and Him alone.

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  12. Blog-hopping here from don’t-remember-where. 🙂 Noticed your post because I recently studied the book of Hebrews, and I love word studies {so “steadfast hope” caught my attention!}. Thank you for encouraging others through the Word.

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  13. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been a little too focused on numbers too. It’s a great reminder I have more important things to worry about, like my Father.

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  14. Thanks for this, Michele! You stated outright the struggle of many Christian bloggers (because we want to know our writing is helping someone)– numbers. And, you tied it in beautifully with your Hebrews study. I think blogging really does require one to place her trust in Christ to do the work. My blog title reminds me every time I blog that I am simply “casting my net” out into the big internet sea, and it is Jesus who know where the fish are! I loved this post!

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