Holding Onto Hope: Isabella Morganthal (20)

chris-lawton-17689

Hope.
This has always been one of my favorite words.
I would scribble it down on paper, using it to try out new letter art. Or I would buy notebooks and wall art that read that word. It was always just a pretty expression, a beautiful string of four letters. But there was also something special about them. I knew they were meant to always help me remember: Hope is my anchor.
Yet there are times now when I look at this word and I wonder how. I wonder why.
How can you have hope when everything is crashing around you?
Why should you hold onto hope when you don’t get what you prayed for?
I don’t understand. I don’t know how I can hold onto hope when things turn upside down.
I look around at a suffering world—a world where things most certainly aren’t as I think they should be—and I ask God why. Why so much pain?
My heart aches inside as I scroll through pictures of the destruction in Texas from the recent Hurricane Harvey. I feel heavy as I look through death tolls and areas of flooding. How can we have hope in this? I question.

I flip through the TV channels and watch as everyone talks anxiously about the hurricane getting ready to hit Florida. I know people who have to evacuate and might lose their homes. I watch the TV screen as people rush to the stores to get supplies and try desperately to prepare for a storm that they can’t control. Can they find hope here?
My faith feels so small when looking at these things. These storms I can’t stop from killing innocent lives and destroying homes. What’s Your plan here, God? I want to ask.
Maybe…maybe that’s it.

layton-diament-18620.jpg

We want to know His whole plan because clearly things aren’t going according to ours and we need an explanation. If He would only tell us why, we believe we will then understand. But how? For: “’My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
His ways, His thoughts, His plans…they’re all so much higher than my own. He can see the whole, grand tapestry when I can only see a small, simple piece of it.
Okay, yes, He has a plan, but…
There’s always that “but” because we so desperately want an answer when faced with such unimaginable grief.
After all: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
One of the most commonly quoted verses in the Bible. God’s plans for us include good. They include hope. But how in all of this?

I still don’t understand. And then I look at Isaiah 43:2 and it tells me, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”
Quickly reading it, my first thought is, “Great, so God’s telling us that those bad things won’t come near us and we won’t have to deal with them, so…why are we?”
But no. I read it again.

That’s not what He’s saying at all.
He says…when you pass through the waters…when you walk through the fire.
What? Where is the hope in this passage? What hope can all of the victims of these massive hurricanes hold onto?
And that’s when I see it.

yoann-boyer-353575.jpg

The hope—the promise—it’s right there. It’s right there, shining beautiful in the midst of the pain…
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
There it is.
I catch my breath as it hits me. Our hope is not that bad things will not happen. Our hope is not that we will be spared from the waters or the fire—all those things that threaten to break us inside. No.
Our hope is so much greater. Our hope is that even in the bad things happening around us, He is with us. Our hope is that He will never leave us. Our hope is that God has a good, good plan for our lives and, even when we don’t understand, nothing in this world can destroy that plan. This takes my breath away. The hope God is giving us has nothing to do with outside circumstances—things that change like the tides.
The hope God is giving to us is a steadfast hope. Some of the definitions or synonyms for steadfast are: firm and unwavering, reliable, constant, steady.
This hope does not change because our God, the author of our true hope and faith, does not change. (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 12:2) He is our Hope!
And that’s when we know.

Whatever comes our way, whatever struggle or pain lies ahead, we know we will be okay. We will come out unbroken because our God stands with us. He is working good in our story—even in the pain—and even if we don’t understand the purpose until heaven.
If you are a victim of Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma, my heart aches for you. I can’t possibly understand what you’re going through, but I hope to encourage you by pointing you to the One who does understand. He understands every bit of your pain and looking at your pain, He weeps with you (John 11:33-35).
When you walk through the water or through the fire, take heart. He is with you. He will never let you go.
Hold onto your Hope, beloved.

*Florida, my prayers are with you tonight. God give you strength ♥

Isabella Morganthal (20) Is an author, blogger and writer for CCG! Check out her blog/website to find more of Isabella

http://jesusisworthitall.weebly.com/

Advertisements

3 Easy Healthy Recipes for a Great Easter Party!

Easter is right around the corner and with these delish treats will prepare you to have the yummiest Easter Party out there! For me I always loved coming home after the church service on Easter and making lots of food for my friends and family to have! If that is already a tradition in your house then why not add some of these tasty foods to your menu, and even if it’s not a yearly thing in your house…why not make it one!? So let’s get cooking!

m 

Easter Egg strawberry’s

Ingredients

  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries, washed and patted dry
  • 1 lb. of white melting chocolate
  • food coloring

Instructions

Report this ad

  1. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place melting chocolate in microwave for 1 minute. Stir and place back in microwave for 30 seconds at a time until chocolate is smooth.
  3. Separate melted chocolate into 4 bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl in the colors you would like. (I did pastel yellow, pastel green, pastel blue, and pastel pink)
  4. Dunk the strawberries in the desired chocolate color and place on lined baking sheet to hardened.
  5. Place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours and serve!

http://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/easter-egg-chocolate-covered-strawberries-recipe/#_a5y_p=3578498

n

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Easter Eggs Recipe:
2 ½ cups rolled oats
3 tbsps. pb2 (or any powdered peanut butter)
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
5 tbsps. almond milk
1 tbsp. peanut butter
¼ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
Sprinkles for decoration
Plastic eggs
Recipe Directions: In a medium bowl mix dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl add maple syrup, vanilla, milk and peanut butter. Stir until mixture has been combined, add the dry ingredient to the large bowl and mix with hands.  Once combined add chocolate chips and sprinkles. Place in plastic eggs and let set in the fridge for 1 hour. Once done, gently open them from the plastic eggs and decorate with sprinkles.

egg

  • Hard boil eggs and peel
  • Here’s a “Make Life Special” Extra:  If you would like to have the chicks differentcolors, dip the peeled eggs into a mixture of 1/2 cup water and some  food coloring.  Immerse the eggs, one at a time, into the dye mixture for a few seconds or until the desired color is reached. Dry each colored egg on a paper towel.
  • If you want the chicks to stand alone on a plate, cut a thin straight slice from the wider bottom end of each egg so the egg will stand straight.  You don’t have to do this step if you want to nestle the chicks on a plate with “grass” made from shredded lettuce or spinach as shown in the photo.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the top third off each egg and remove the yolk.  Mash the yolks in a bowl and make your favorite deviled egg recipe.
  • Refill the larger bottom portion of each egg ( using a small spoon or a small zip lock bag with a corner snipped off).  Mound the the  top of  the filling and cap with the top egg portions.
  • Add a tiny triangle of carrot to each egg for the beak.  Use bits of black olives or capers for the eyes.
  • You can also insert a sprig of fresh dill into the top cap for a tuft of feathers, if desired.
  • Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.  

These are absolutely adorable deviled eggs….Remember, “Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends….Enjoy!”

http://makelifespecial.com/deviled-easter-egg-chicks/