by Reverend Emily Shipman
10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
I struggled, talking to my four-year-old about hope.
Partly it was finding the words.
Mostly it was telling my hope-filled daughter
that sometimes what we want to happen
I know that it’s good for her to know that.
I want her to know “hoping” we have candy for supper
isn’t always going to work out. Hopefully
isn’t ever going to work out -
But also, I can envision a situation in which
I’d be all for it.
Some days are like that.
My difficulty explaining hope
wasn’t so much about her
But about me.
I struggle with hope.
I struggle to have hope that late-night phone call
might actually be good news.
I struggle to have hope that
her anger isn’t about something I’ve done
his frustration isn’t my fault.
I guess…I struggle to have hope that
it isn’t all about me?
Which is interesting…
because my 4-year-old sort of
does think everything is about her.
And yet, her hope is
I know I’ve let her down a good deal
She still has such fierce
I admire her.
She gives me strength to believe.
Strength to hope.
She reminds me hope
is a possibility.
“I hope we get to worship in church next week!”
“I hope we get to go to friend’s houses soon!”
“I hope we can have peanut butter and apples
for breakfast AND supper today!”
Okay, I don’t hope for that so much.
She reminds me to have hope.
I am so grateful to God for blessing me
with this precious reminder.
It’s okay to hope.
Isaiah speaks with such certainty:
This is going to happen.
God’s word accomplishes
what God sends it out
God is at work
breaking free and
giving new life.
God is massaging
into the world.
At times, through very
Thank you, God
I love you.
Reverend Emily Shipman was ordained in 2014 and serves the
NW United Lutheran Parish, a 4-point parish in northwest North Dakota.
She serves with her clergy-spouse Zachariah and their 4-year-old Sophie Sue.