2015-09-19 18.30.24

A Hope that Doesn’t Disappoint (Part 3)

This is the last in a series of 3 posts. Read the first and the second before you read this one.

Despite Ellie’s fear that God wouldn’t show up or that it would take forever if he did, she followed her longing and she kept asking.

“Nothing yet, Mom,” she would report.

“Keep asking,” I would say. “Remember, he wants to be found.”

There is something wonderful about putting our hope not in how he will come, but in who he is. There is something wonderful about putting our faith in him and not in what he might do for us. In believing that he is who he says he is, all the time.

And I told her, over and over again: I know in my deepest heart, in my very core, that he will come. I don’t know when and I don’t know how. But I do know that it will be clear and it will be loving, and it will be better than you can imagine. Because he LOVES you and he is looking for you, too.

And God’s girl Ellie kept asking.

Over six months or longer she asked for an audible and/or visual encounter with the Living God. Every once in a while she would come over to me, or pull me aside at bedtime and tell me that he hadn’t come yet. But she kept asking, her faith that he is who he says he is and that he doesn’t break his promises getting stronger every time.

And then one night, after the kids had gone to bed and as Tim and I were chatting online with some out-of-state friends, our conversation was interrupted by an eruption of noise coming from Ellie’s room. It was Ellie, who was practically shouting from her bed–not to us, but to Jesus. We could pick out little phrases like, “Oh God, you are awesome! You made everything! Everything I have belongs to you! I love you so much! I am so thankful for everything I have!” Tim and I looked at each other, and Tim ran upstairs to see what was going on.

When Tim came out of her room his face was wet with tears and I listened as he described the scene. God had whispered into the deepest recesses of Ellie’s heart such precious and deep words of love, adoration, and commitment to her that her little heart overflowed with worship and adoration and commitment to him. She recognized his voice instantly and without doubt, and described the sound of his voice as, “Very strong, and very, very, kind.”

God whispered his covenant with her, beautifully reminiscent of the covenant he has made with us throughout Scripture, “I will always be with you, and you will always be with me.”

YAY! What a holy event that night was in the Thornton home. And it hasn’t stopped there! No, he and Ellie continue to have secret and wonderful rendezvous together, some of which I know about and some of which I’m sure I don’t.

Friends, let your faith rise now, knowing that his words to Ellie are for you, too, and for me, and they sound forth the promise of God to us from the very beginning, “I will be their God, and they will be my people.” I will always be with you, and you will always be with me. Let your faith rise, and put your hope in the one who is the rewarder of those who seek him. He is worth waiting for; he is worth contending for. Don’t stop asking. Don’t stop looking. Don’t stop pressing in.

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~Romans 5:5

This story was told with Ellie’s permission. If you would like to listen to her tell it in her own words, you can here.

September 24, 2015