Hope Overflowing

A few weeks ago, I became the proud owner of an adult tricycle. For quite awhile, I had been looking for transportation alternatives to walking and I was eager to consider the tricycle.
The first full day after getting my bike, I hopped aboard and set off for the post office. I thought it would be easy going, but it was hard! I couldn’t seem to get up the last hill no matter how hard I pedaled, and I could hear a loud scraping and dragging sound from one of my back tires. Upon arriving home, I discovered that I had a flat tire.
The previous owner had informed my father that one of the back tires on the bike had a slow leak. He just hadn’t told us that within 24 hours of the bike being in our possession that the tire would be completely flat.
This scenario came to mind as I heard an illustration at a recent retreat. We were hearing about hope overflowing and how fulfilling it is to be overflowing with God’s presence in our lives. But there are times when our “hope tank” is on “E…” empty and draining away. When despair takes hold, it is easy to give ourselves over to temporary and fleeting pleasures. Some turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, food, etc to try to obtain some measure of comfort. But in the end, all we are doing is draining ourselves of vital life and joy.
Like my leaky bike tire, our spiritual lives sometimes spring a leak. We fill up on momentary pleasures only to be drained of what is truly important. Instead, we need to think of the opposite perspective of being so filled with hope that we are bursting at the seams. It would be like eating Thanksgiving dinner, only to be invited to partake of a second feast meal again mere hours later. If presented with this second feast, I think I would be inclined to push my plate back and respectfully decline, “No thanks; I’m full.”
It would be like the times when Satan tries to tempt us with those empty and life-draining pleasures: sex, drinking, drugs, food, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if we could call on the name of the Lord Jesus in bold confidence and say, “No thanks; I’m full… full of hope in the Lord Jesus”?
To be so filled with hope that the temporary temptations of this world don’t matter is an incredible challenge to me. So often, I get bogged down with the menial details of life. I become focused on my own comfort, and I find myself panicking when something goes wrong— the computer crashes, stress takes hold at work, or something breaks down at home. I need to remind myself that this life is brief and I need to maintain an eternal perspective. It is only then that my “hope tank” can be filled to overflowing.
My bike tire was eventually repaired, and once air was pumped into the tube, I was able to ride again. I’ll tell you, it was much easier to pedal up that hill with a pumped up tire. In being filled up with Christ’s hope, I am similarly able to tackle the hill-like challenges and temptations in life. I choose not to let my bike tire— or life— for that matter, run on empty air.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s