A Future Hope
As of the writing of this I find myself over 10 years as a single man. As I think back to the time of my divorce I couldn’t imagine being single for a year let alone decade or more. So how have I managed to stay single so long? A better question is how did I reconcile still being single with my mind and time? I always think back to my twenties when I learned the valuable lesson of waiting.
When I was twenty years old and in college I decided to make the twenty-two hour drive to visit my Dad in Pennsylvania from Missouri. At this time I was driving an old beater of a car. I think I spent more time sitting in the waiting room at the mechanics then actually driving it. My Dad had always been a car enthusiast and had helped me in the past in finding reliable transportation. On my visit I asked him if there was any way he could help me find a newer car. Finances were tight but he took me to a friend’s car lot and pointed out a car within his budget. It was a used blue VW Gulf with a sticker price of $2000. It was an ok looking car and seemed like it would fit my needs for college. As I stood there I started to imagine myself driving that car around the city and college. It wasn’t anything to be proud of but it might provide better reliability then my current vehicle.
I saw some hesitation in my father as he asked what I thought of this option. I walked around the car kicking the tires and such for a few more minutes. He then suggested fixing what I had, and wait a few more years with the hope of him helping me get a brand new car.
As I looked to the future I envisioned all of the potential life promised me as I was due to graduate college and get my first job.
I decided to think about it for a few days. In the end, I drove back to college in the same car that made the twenty-two hour trip seem like forty-eight. All the while thinking of the future hope, that one day I would get the first opportunity to have a car that would not need consistent TLC from my local mechanic.
Almost two years later I drove back to Pennsylvania for my semester visit. I pulled up to my Dad’s condo and saw a bright red sports car sitting in the parking lot. This car commanded the “rubber necks” to stop dead in their tracks. Surely, this wasn’t my Dad’s but some neighbor’s car, I thought to myself. Still the promise my Dad made rung in my ears. I ran inside to see him, and after the greeting and such he asked “Did you see the Red Car?” then he dropped the keys in my hand.
There is nothing like a new car smell. I sat inside the car breathing it in, in amazement, that I had just been blessed with something that I had hoped for but never imagined the day I would have. I just sat there in amazement of this gift.
A father’s heart is to overwhelm his children with blessings. However, as a parent I have learned timing is everything in order for the child to be able to receive the blessing.
That day I was overwhelmed by my father’s generous gift. So much so that it taught me the valuable lesson of hope, patience, and promises. Romans 8:24-25 talks about hope. It reads;
“In this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
There have been many opportunities for me to take what was in front of me, and settle down. But would it have been God’s best? So many times we choose what is right in front of us instead of waiting patiently for our father’s best. It is probably why a good percentage of men marry six months after their divorce is final and why over 60 percent of second marriages fail. Hope and patience are not easy. They require action. Action to stick to what you know your father has for you even when you can’t see or feel it.
I have a really good friend whom God has impressed on her to wait for marriage for a specific person. The first few years were easy as she was involved in church and had many things to occupy her time. As the years went on, I stood in the distance listening to well meaning friends tell her to move on from the promise. She has not. I cheer her on each time I think of her patience and God’s promises to her. It is this willingness to believe past where others in your life are not able to. That is called perseverance for a future hope.
So as I stand here and hope, the result of this waiting has given me a new found patience. Not for what I have seen, but for the promise that God has made to fully restore me in every area of my life.
“Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” Zechariah 9:12
So in anticipation of the hope God has in store for me, I have been fixing this old beater of a man so that when he shows up with his gift of restoration I will be ready to receive it.
Where are you today? Are you willing to wait for God’s best for you, or will you settle for something far less for you future?