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Keepin’ the Hope Alive (What to Do When You Can’t Find Your Car)

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

I have birthed and diapered the bottoms of three babies, then helped keep them fed and clothed for a collective 28 years.  I have pulled a camper behind my Suburban all by myself.  I’ve shampooed show pigs and cleaned horse stalls.  I’ve maneuvered through some pretty exhausting and muddy teenage obstacle courses. I’ve done some stuff.

But sometimes I flat can’t remember where I parked my car.


Thankfully, all those years I was hauling kids to Walmart, they could remember where “we” had parked. Many times, I try to blame the dilemma on my cell phone. Studies have shown that if you’re talking to your mother on your cell phone when you pull into a parking spot, you will no more remember where you parked than the man in the moon.

This is definitely a first-world problem, I know, and if there’s anything that my millennial friends can’t stand – it’s that – complaining about something that could only be experienced in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Nevertheless, it happened again recently.  Only this time, I thought I had outsmarted my blonde self by taking a picture of it – right where I left it on floor 7 of the parking garage.  But it wasn’t there.  So, while the sweet man who married me walked five floors up looking for it, the security guard agreed to help me cover the six lower floors, even after I told him it might have been two weeks since I had driven it (first world again).  I was growing increasingly unsure that the picture in my phone was of the most recent parking spot.  The poor guy could probably tell that I was about to panic and call 9-1-1, so he did something really smart.

He assured me – calmed me – spoke a balm over my I’m-so-embarrassed-it’s-probably-been-towed-and-will-cost-$327-to-get-it-back self.  He said, with all kinds of authority, “Now, we aren’t going to get beside ourselves.  We will find your car. This happens all the time, and we always find it.”  And then he said this:

“We’re just gonna keep the hope alive, ok?  THAT’s what we’re gonna do; we’re just gonna keep the hope alive.” 

HOPE, business concept on blackboard

Easy for you to say, Mister Security Man.  You’re not the one with a huffy husband walking 6 floors of this parking garage looking for the car you emphatically knew right where to find.smiley face

However, as soon as he said it, I felt better. I had already jumped to thinking the worst. Not Cornelius, the Security Man. He was keepin’ the hope alive.

And you know what? His hope started rubbing off on me.  The more he said it, the more I shared it.

Keepin’ the hope alive became our joint goal. If we found the car, I was going to give Cornelius a hug and try not to cry. I’m not sure if he knew it, but I did – that God commands us to “carry each other’s burdens, and I loved Cornelius for dragging me out of my despair and sharing the burden with me! As it turned out, there was a license plate log at the security desk on floor one, so after a few times around floors 7 and 6, my new friend suggested we check the log.  Sure enough, my tag info appeared on its pages – under “cars left overnight on third floor.”smiley face

No hugs, no tears, but lots of smiles and a high five.  What was lost was found.  And goodness, did it ever leave me with something to think about.

Who do I know who needs to hear the same words from me? Millions upon millions of people need a little hope – and sharing of a burden. Andy Stanley says to do for the one what you wish you could do for the many. So, tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, when someone shares a concern with me, I’m going to walk along beside them and say:

“We’re just gonna keep the hope alive, ok?  THAT’s what we’re gonna do; we’re just gonna keep the hope alive.”
 Encouraging intentional adventure, and confidence in what we hope for,
PS – What have you lost? Do you need hope that you will find it again? There’s always, always, always hope.  If you need more encouragement today, check out this message by one of my favorites, Tony Evans.  I love you all for reading my blog, and I especially love your comments, so please feel free to leave a thought or two below!




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