Hold Fast

It was last Saturday night.  Our to-do list was a mile long and my heavy heart – a heart that was dreading the final goodbyes before leaving the United States of America for the next 3 years – made it nearly impossible to think clearly.  I felt paralyzed from the weight of tasks waiting to be done.  I could not get off the couch, and so I didn’t.  Instead, I opened up my Bible as an escape from the anxiety that would not leave me alone.

I found myself in the book of Hebrews….

“So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.” ~Hebrews 10:23, AMP

As I let these words engrave themselves on the tablet of my heart, they transformed me and became Living Water to my thirsty soul. They turned my crushing grief into joyful sorrow as I remembered that Jesus is my hope and He anchors my soul. Firm and secure.  They violently snapped the anxiety chains that bound me to the couch. My entire life as I know it is changing right now, but my soul remains established and secure in Jesus.  I was challenged to seize this hope that I cherish and talk about so often, and to not to let it slip away.

The more I read the words of Hebrews 10:23, the more I zeroed in on the phrase “hold fast and retain without wavering the hope…” What does it mean to hold fast to hope and do I do this?  To hold fast means to have, to hold, to retain, to lay hold of forcefully, to take possession of.  I possess an unshakable hope when I remain unwavering in my faith.  I have it and it’s mine.  How often do I forget this when my life seems to be spinning out of control?  Why do I live as a victim when I am a victor? God is faithful and sure, so why do we doubt? Why do we waver when He never does?

I fell asleep soon after learning this lesson – a lesson that was perfectly timed for all that was in my near future.  The next morning, as we were leaving for church, my oldest child presented me with a drawing that will forever be cherished.  It was an anchor and my eyes filled with tears as he handed it to me, not knowing the sweet and hopeful reminder the Lord had given me the night before.  As my husband and I sat in our last American church service for several years, my emotions were all over the place.  I was so excited to be with the family of believers that I love, but so sad that my final day with them had finally come.  I was cherishing the last hugs, final farewells, spontaneous prayers, and hearing the precious friend who had invested hours in me sing sweetly to our Father right next to me.  In the moments of sadness, the Holy Spirit spoke one phrase to my delicate heart….

“hold fast your hope”

It was an internal struggle all morning.

“I can’t do this”…”hold fast your hope”

“I’m so sad”…”hold fast your hope”

“I’m so tired”…”hold fast your hope”

“I’m not ready to say bye to family”…”hold fast your hope”

“How am I going to fly with small children?”…”hold fast your hope”

“I’m going to miss her”…”hold fast your hope”

You see, in every worrisome thought – every moment of worry rebellion – He interrupted me and reminded me of the lesson He had taught me the night before.

Seize hope.  Cherish hope.  Hold fast to the hope that I confess.  Do not waver.  I am anchored forever.  Remain steadfast unto the end.

As I went to bed, I set my alarm for a short 3 hours later.  I was leaning into the Father that held me close and I was holding fast to the hope that I cherish.  I would be leaving in the middle of the night for a land I had never seen with my husband and children, and I knew that His grace was sufficient.  For it’s in my weakness that His power will rest on me!

Stay tuned for the story of our flight and arrival to our new home for the next several months…..