One of my favorite lines in a song reads, “Hope is what we crave and that will never change, so I stand and wait. I need a drop of grace to carry me today, a simple song to sing. It’s written on my soul, hope’s what we crave.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about hope and grace and how this world is not our home. The other day, I was driving home from work and was playing with the window buttons in my car. It’s a common thing for me to mess with the buttons when I’m waiting at a stop light and as I sat clicking the buttons, I heard two noises. One was a soft click. The second was a little louder and made a pop noise. You know, like when you pop the trunk.
That’s exactly what I did.
The soft click was me opening my gas cover (clearly, not up to the official terms on car analogies) and the other was me POPPING OPEN MY TRUNK. In the middle of driving. In the middle of a busy street. With no street or gracious gravel that I could pull over into.
I panicked. Partly because I had no idea what was in my trunk and what would be flying out at any given moment. Partly because I knew I looked like a horrible driver. And partly because people were honking and trying to pass me on a non-passing-busy-Nashville-road.
Sometimes I feel like my life is falling apart, like an unexpectedly malfunctioning automobile mishap. I can simply be driving happily on an open road, surrounded by green, flourishing trees and all of a sudden, my trunk pops. And not only do you feel vulnerable and exposed, but you panic because you’re afraid that people will see your junk (in the trunk – bedump chee) and run away.
When I read the story of Joseph, I honestly feel bad for the guy. I mean, this guy cannot catch a break. He is born into a football team of brothers who hate him. They hate him so much they throw him into a well to die. I bet there were spiders down there and I bet, like me, he was terrified of spiders. They eventually pulled him out of the well and I bet the sunshine on his face gave him HOPE that the worst was over. But then, his brothers sold him into slavery. They traded a life for a bag of gold coins. As a slave, Joseph begins working with one of the most powerful men in Egypt. Because of his hard work and the Lord being with him, Potipher puts him in charge of his entire household. Once again, the brief flicker of sunshine must have brought Joseph HOPE that things could be good here. But an unjust accusation lands him in prison. The story goes on like an emotional roller coaster for Joseph, and I’m sure in these moments of giving-and-taking-away, Joseph can’t help but think, “You have GOT to be kidding me.”
But I want you to get this so listen up. The Bible clearly states that throughout all of the crazyness, the LORD was WITH Joseph. He never left. He didn’t take a bathroom break. He was WITH him. WITH him in the well, WITH him on the trip to Egypt, WITH him in Potipher’s house, WITH him as he was being accused of raping a woman, WITH him when he was sent to prison. The Lord never left Joseph’s side.
And here’s the thing. God didn’t just use Joseph in little things, He used him BIG time. Joseph went on to save thousands of people from starvation, rescue God’s people from extinction and save his family – his father, his relatives, yes, even his brothers.
Hope is a powerful thing – in a seemingly hopeless situation, hope can save your life. And sometimes, all you can do is hold on to hope. Hope for things that are yet to come, hope for tomorrow, even hope for a side street you’ve never noticed before so you can turn on it and collect yourself, close your trunk and breathe again.
I don’t know where you are on your drive today. I don’t know if you’re driving with the windows down and “Call Me Maybe” blasting through the speakers or if your engine light is on, you’re almost out of gas and you just popped your trunk on the highway. If you need to pull over, pull over. Find strength in the Lord in the midst of your brokenness. And rest in the hope that He is using you for BIG things.
It’s written on our souls, hope’s what we crave.