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Hope Is Doubt

“I hope to get a PlayStation for Christmas!”
“I’m running behind, but hope to get to work on time.”

The child wanting a game console has a hope that Dad might pick one up and Mom will wrap it. He also knows a chance exists that it is a bicycle. A doubt exists if he will get the game console at all.

A person wakes up frantically. The alarm did not wake them in time and so they leave for work a little later than normal. They need to get to work on time and if traffic cooperates, they can. A doubt exists that the traffic holds. It rarely goes smooth. They question if they will be late and possibly fired.

Abraham’s Hope and Doubt

Do you recall the story of Abraham? A big part of his story is that God said to him that he would have a child and that he would be the father of a vast nation. After a long while of not bearing a child, his wife, Sarah, said he should take her servant. He did, and a son was born. Then God came to Abraham again and said the promise was to a son that Sarah would bear. Abraham laughed at God because he was ninety-nine and Sarah was ninety! He thought this was impossible.

Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping — believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead — and so was Sarah’s womb.

Romans 4:18-19

So, by my calculation, Abraham had a hope for a son, and he doubted God could do it within the constraints of his marriage. When God told him yet again, Abraham had hope because God is all-knowing, and he had doubt causing him to laugh at God.

My Hope and Doubt

I thoroughly believe I was promised four children. I was not hoping for four or wanting four. No, I was told. Only after this did I want it. It was just a fact that would occur and I now wanted it. After our first miscarriage, I began to hope it would occur. I still believed what I was told, but also had a doubt.

As the years passed, the doubt turned into doubts. Hope was very alive, and I continued having faith, but questions existed. The doctors said we needed fertility drugs if it were to ever happen, so we did. Who doesn’t follow their doctor’s advice? I still called Caleb our miracle baby, and gave all credit and thanks to God.

At that time, I counted that we had one child. More must be on the way. Years go by, a decade passes, and then more years. I supposed that God put the desire in our heart so we would adopt! Years of infertility, years of foster care trying to adopt, and then multiple private adoption failures nearly removed the very last crumb of hope. We finally adopted our daughter, and that made the count rise to two! I do not recall if I maintained hope for four, but was content with two.

A few short months later, Donna became pregnant with Emily! One begins to see the goal and, in the excitement, does not bother to wonder if it is possible. However, when Emily was snatched away from us, the wake of damage lead to a hysterectomy. I was suddenly confronted with the brutal fact that I did not have two children, but I had four.

Hope’s Doubt Grows Faith

Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.

Romans 4:20

This process grew my faith immeasurably. After Caleb died, I wrestled with the idea that God would promise four children while knowing that three would die, two before I even met them.

And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.

Romans 4:22

God rewarded Abraham for his faithfulness, never wavering in believing God’s promise. By our standards, it looks like he wavered. At the very least, while believing in the promise, Abraham did it his way.

Hope’s Double Standard

I really do not think there was much difference between me and Abraham. Two guys, each wanting a big family, and each of us understood the incredible stress infertility places upon us, though I never slept with anyone but my wife. There was a big difference, Abraham’s hope was realized when he got exactly what he thought he was promised and to keep his only son. My hopes died when I got neither.

One more huge difference, despite his doubts, Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike consider Abraham a hopeful, believing, righteous man of God. He is highly respected. In my case, I hoped and doubted in similar ways, yet I am not considered hopeful. I am told I should have more faith and trust in Him.

When people say they have doubts about God or doubt He is listening or doubt His character, do you think of the negative side? Do you wonder why they have these questions? Do you think they just need more faith? Why do we not consider the hopes being crushed in these statements?

Published inFaith

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