Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Run Wild with the Hope

My photo but not my artwork. I'm told it looks like Fruity Pebbles.

I have long said you can do pretty much anything as long as you have hope.

And these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

And indeed I’m a fan of looooove. Who isn’t. But hope is right up there in the top three.

The phrase “run wild with the hope” is a song lyric. I looked up the entire song and found scripture references that included a favorite verse:

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
    God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas,
~ Psalm 65:5

Past bible study participants of mine may recall that I’ve always wanted to interject the word “dude” in the middle of that verse.

“You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior. Dude.”
~ Psalm 65:5 (Jenn Modern Slang Translation)

It helps if you channel Jeff Spicoli while you recite that. Awesome. Righteous.

Perhaps I digress.

A quick search of the NIV includes 180 uses of “hope”, 458 of “faith”, and 686 of “love”. Not believing in numerology, astrology, or a whole lot of other ologies … I’m not sure those statistics are deeply meaningful, but perhaps someone better versed in the ologies can fill me in. And maybe “love is a verb” has some significance.

 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
~ 1 Peter 3:15-16 (emphasis added)

Really it comes down to the Sunday School answer. Jesus.

Not familiar with the term “Sunday School answer”? When in doubt, when in Sunday School, the answer to the question – any question – is always “Jesus”. It’s like choosing “B” on a multiple choice test. Legend says that “B” occurs most often, although really that depends on the test. But you stand at least some chance of being correct by choosing something.

Those aforementioned numbers add up to 1324, by the way. Still doesn’t mean anything? Okay, just checking.

When the weather and pollen and such cooperate I like to get out in nature as much as possible. Go for a walk. Soak up a little vitamin D. Appreciate the artwork of the creator.

It tends to restore my hope.

Not that my hope truly needs restoring that often. Maybe maintaining my hope is a better way to put it. But I seriously cannot get enough of the sky these days. And trees. It’s fall right now, with the usual spectacular array of colors. But even cold, dead trees in winter look like they’re reaching toward heaven. I guess it’s more obvious when they’re stripped of their leaves. No decoration. No pretention. Just … well, Jesus.

Keeping my mind on things above.

The hope of the trees in winter leads to the blooming of the trees in spring.

So here’s the question.

I see so many people plodding through life on autopilot. Many devoid of hope (or at least needing a serious tune-up) but afraid to let anybody see it because God forbid we don’t project happy happy joy joy at all times.

“How are you doing?”

There’s a Sunday School answer for you right there.

How is your hope doing?

Do you hold on to a shred of hope as a way just to get by, or do you


What does running wild with the hope look like to you?

Is wild even a good thing?

A friend likes to ask, “What is God teaching you these days?” For me it’s been to trust and obey and wait. Wait. Grrrrr! But in the midst there is hope. Always hope. And sometimes a dose of “help me with my unbelief”.

And then. And then. There are those moments when he shakes me forward and shakes me free.

Who’s got their running shoes on?


Well the moon moved past Nebraska
And spilled laughter on them cold Dakota Hills
And angels danced on Jacob's stairs
Yeah, they danced on Jacob's stairs
There is this silence in the Badlands
And over Kansas the whole universe was stilled
By the whisper of a prayer
The whisper of a prayer

And the single hawk bursts into flight
And in the east the whole horizon is in flames
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

I can feel the earth tremble
Beneath the rumbling of the buffalo hooves
And the fury in the pheasant's wings
And there's fury in a pheasant's wings
It tells me the Lord is in His temple
And there is still a faith that can make the mountains move
And a love that can make the heavens ring
And I've seen love make heaven ring

Where the sacred rivers meet
Beneath the shadow of the Keeper of the plains
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

From the place where morning gathers
You can look sometimes forever 'til you see
What time may never know
What time may never know
How the Lord takes by its corners this old world
And shakes us forward and shakes us free
To run wild with the hope
To run wild with the hope

The hope that this thirst will not last long
That it will soon drown in the song not sung in vain
And I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

And I know this thirst will not last long
That it will soon drown in the song not sung in vain
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And with the prairies I am calling out Your name

~ Rich Mullins' "Calling Out Your Name"
Psalms 19:1-6Psalms 65:5-13 

This week’s prompt was born out of a conversation at Denny’s in which the word “hope” flew out of my mouth. I was told it was the magic word. Not sure how long we will continue to write on the same theme, but for Sue Bowles’ take on “Run Wild with the Hope” see And we're excited that newcomer Leisa Herren is joining the party at

1 comment:

  1. OH Jenn - I never caught the 'shakes us forward and shakes us free' line. So thankful to be shaken by the same Creator as you - He has a way of knocking the fruit loose from the hard to reach places. Thanks!