Friday, May 2, 2014


“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:24-26 NIV)

I severely injured my knee when I was a teen.  For my whole adult life, I have lived with a poorly functioning joint.  In the last 15 years, it has slowly deteriorated, increasingly limiting my physical activity.  Last year, I began to think seriously about a knee replacement, but our insurance was such it was not financially feasible.  I had to wait until we could acquire better health insurance.  That came in January and I immediately began to make plans for the surgery.  

I hoped to do it during Spring Break, but a freak snowstorm in Charlotte delayed my pre-op consultation for two weeks and closed that window of opportunity.  More waiting.  Finally, the surgery was set for May 6th.  My family physician scheduled several tests he required before he would clear me for the procedure, but scheduling the tests proved difficult. Again, more waiting.  Those tests were finally done this week and I am still waiting for the results and whether or not my doctor will clear me for a major operation scheduled just days from now.

To say I have been frustrated by the delays is an understatement.  I am not good at waiting patiently.  But I don’t think I am alone in that.  Waiting is difficult, particularly if it is something we want very badly, such as a romantic relationship or marriage, a coveted job, or just relief from a difficult stretch in life.

What is encouraging in this passage is that we are not alone in our struggle to maintain hope in the midst of uncertainty.  The Spirit is walking along side us, helping us and strengthening us so that we can maintain hope instead of giving up or making ill-advised decisions to force our will upon the situation.  Even in the midst of our confusion about delays in what we hope for, the Spirit sees clearly what we need.  

Today, if you are hoping for something, like me, that is not coming fast enough, know that you are not alone in battling frustration and discouragement.  Don’t give up.  The Spirit is right there with you and He knows what you need.

© Jim Musser 2014

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