'I pray that God, the source of hope will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.'
Not overstretched. Not overrunning. Not overworked, over, and over again
But overflowing with confident hope
Can I confess that hope can sometimes seem like a dangerous thing?
Because it might open me up
Open me up to disappointment or let-down
It makes me feel vulnerable
But then I read in Proverbs that hope deferred makes the heart sick
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, and if that's the case, I need to be referred to my God quickly
Before my heart gets hard, calcified with cynicism, necrotic with pessimism
Before hopelessness spreads and I become a sarcastic soul
Joyless, dark humour, with a sharp and bitter tongue
I need to be seen by the Great Physician before I become a weary old nurse
Paralysed by doubt
Always expecting the worst
Resigned, accepting the worst
Forgive me Lord!
And I pray that you, being the very source of all hope, would fill us today
Like the sun on a sudden hot day in winter
Would you flood our hearts again?
Would you stream in through the slats of office venetian blinds
Stream in through waiting and clinic room windows
Into bays and cubicles and onto wards into labs and theatres
Into our community and into people's homes! Light us up!
Thaw frosty scepticism
Soften hard ground
Let what has lain dormant, buried deep down and unseen
Let it stir again