If you are a regular reader of this post, you know that our themeiwsHOPE. We believe that if you are hoping for something, and if that hope is in accordance with God’s will, then that hope will be fulfilled, in God’s time and God’s way. Otherwise, what you are hoping for will just be wishful thinking. Therefore, it’s important that you do our best, using the ability God has given you, to discern what is God’s will for you. As I look back on my life (75 years), I have seen how true that is.
I also have come to know that patience is required on my part (remember – in God’s time). Also, there have been times when I eventually realized that God arranged things so that the result was just the opposite of what I was hoping for. Some of those situations are described in my book Hopes Fulfilled – A Spiritual Autobiography. For example, there was a time when I had hoped to become the CEO of an organization like the one I worked for. However, as it turned out I ended up getting fired, and I had no job. But God’s plans for me were for something so much better – and some years later I became a United Methodist pastor. It took a few years to adjust my hope, so that it would be in accordance with God’s plans for me. But once that happened, God made sure that hope was fulfilled. It was all a matter of having faith that God will always fulfill hopes that are in accordance with his will.
It often takes years before some of our hopes are in tune with God’s will and those hopes are fulfilled by God. But what about the little everyday things that we go through in life? Like when we are suddenly faced with a difficult situation. A situation that causes us to hope for a resolution right now – today, in an hour, or maybe in the next few minutes. On this past Sunday I was faced with just such a situation.
While I am now a retired pastor, Joan(my wife) and I attend one of the churches that I once served as pastor for eight years. However, recently I was given the responsibility of supporting our new pastor in serving communion. Our church has two worship services on Sunday mornings, so I assist with communion at both services. The normal process is to assist at the first service, then drive home to pick Joan and bring her to the church for the second service, where I again assist with serving communion.
Ususally this whole process goes very well. But this time there was a problem. After the first service was over I got in my car to drive home to pick up Joan. But my car woudn’t start. My immediate thought was to call Joan on the phone to tell her that I couldn’t pick her up since the car wouldn’t start. Then I realized that there would still be the problem of getting myself hom after the second service. I started to feel some anxiety, worrying that my mind would be so focused on the situation with the car, that I would make a mess of assisting with serving communion. This was really bad news. I felt hopeless. So I did what I would suggest as the first thing to do to anyone else in a hopeless situation. That is, pray and ask God to provide for whatever was needed to get through the problem, and have hope that God would provide whatever was needed.
I quickly realized what was needed.Two things. First, that God would take away all of my fears and anxiety over this car situation. That I would be able to totally focus on and effectively do my part in serving communion. God provided. During the service there was absolutely no fear or anxiety about the car. All went well. Hope fulfilled.
The second thing I needed was that I could find some way to get from the church to my home to pick up Joan, and how to arrange for the AAA service to get my car atarted, and get back home again. God quickly provided a solution. The first thing that God did was to assure that my wonderful friend and partner in ministry, Patty Perez, would provide whatever transportation was needed. She would pick up Joan so she could attend the second service as planned. In the meantime one of the church members who knows something about cars tried to get the car running, but his efforts were to no avail. Nevertheless, I was thankful to him for giving it a good try. After the second service was over Patty took Joan home and then came and waited with me for the AAA emergency auto service truck. Eventually the truck arrived, but the technician still couldn’t get my car started. Do he called a tow truck to take my car to the place where it would be repaired. Since it was Sunday, they wouldn’t be open, but I could leave the car there and contact them by phone on Monday morning. Patty gave me a ride to the repair shop and then home.
I was feeling very good about how this was all working out. In addition to all that I just mentioned, our new pastor, Rev. Claire Cvetkovski, offered to give me a ride if needed. Then she followed up with a phone call to assure that things were going according to plan. I was glad to know that she was so concerned about me. I also checked with another friend from church, Rich Bamford, if he could give me a ride from my house to the car repair shop on Monday, so I could pick up my car when it was repaired. Finally the car was repaired, a few hours earlier than expected. Good News. One of the first things that came to my mind when all of this was over was that God almost immediately began fulfilling all of my hopes for a quick and relatively easy resolution to my car problem. Good news in the midst of bad news I can assure you that whether your hopes are big or small, sometimes God’s timing means patiently waiting for long periods of timed. But sometimes God fulfills our hopes almost instantly.
Grace and peace, Ray
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.
Patty Perez and Ray Gough
We also invite you to view our other web-site Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study www.rohmbible.wordpress.com
We have also published the book shown below in the form of an e–book. We invite you to read, copy, or down-load it free at this web-site:
A Spiritual Autobiography
How God fulfilled the faith-based hopes
of an ordinary guy from Jersey City