I find that hope is what keeps me going when I'm exhausted at 4 a.m. feeding little Brayden. I am hopeful that he'll not cry when I change his diaper, he'll eat fast, and he'll fall asleep quickly so I can quickly get back into my bed and get as much sleep as possible before he feeds again--all without waking Erik so Erik can get as much sleep as possible before he heads to work!
Let me clarify why I like when Brayden happens to eat quickly at night... newborns feed every 2-3 hours, but that doesn't mean they eat, wait 2-3 hours, and eat again. The 2-3 hour clock starts when they start feeding. So if they eat at 9 a.m., take one hour to eat and another fifteen minutes to fall asleep, you'll have potentially 45 minutes until they want to eat again at 11 a.m. That's why moms are always hopeful that their babies will have a longer stretch than two hours between feeding and/or the feeding goes relatively quickly so they can get back to bed before the next feeding!
So a few days ago when I started thinking about this hopefulness I have as a mother, it reminded me of life. In life, we always need to have hope. When hope is gone, there's nothing left to hang onto. We need to have hope in something (or Someone!) that things will change, good things are ahead, etc.
I'm a goal-oriented person, and I think this is why I'm always hopeful. I feel weird if I don't have some goal, something to look forward to or hope in. I'll create my own goals when I don't have anything to get excited about and say, "If I do this and this by the end of the day, I'll get Dairy Queen for myself!"
This need for hope is especially true if you are going through a difficult situation. No matter what type of situation - relational, financial, grief-related, etc. - you need hope that something will change.
The Bible says that God is the God of all hope. He provides you with promises and truth to hope in. He also gives you practical things to hope in as you go throughout your day. If you don't have anything to hope in or look forward to, ask Him to give you something.
Hebrews chapter 6 puts it this way: our hope in the Lord anchors our soul. The Message Bible says this (verses 18-20):
"We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God...."
Your hope in the Lord may not be answered in the way you think, but it will be answered. That is our solid hope, our "unbreakable spiritual lifeline," and the anchor for our soul.
on a personal note: three weeks ago I was at the hospital in labor! Happy three weeks to baby Brayden!
For him, having his hands by his face is pure happiness. :-)