There are two kinds of people. Optimists and realists.
I am a pessimist. I struggle every single day to believe good things are going to happen. I face good things that ARE happening with the the assumption that "it's too good to be true." I hate disappointment, and I hate crushed hopes. I hate feeling foolish when I start to think something is really going to go the way I'm hoping, only to have it fall through two days after the little flower of hope is starting to open up.
It's so easy to excuse this pessimism as being "just the way I am," - as if it it's just part of my personality. Because it's not; or maybe it is but it's a flawed and terrible part of who I am. Every day I am telling God - whether I realize it or not - that I don't think His promise to finish His work in me is true. That I think He's lying when He says that "all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." That He doesn't really know what He's doing and I could do it better.
I recognize that this world is broken, and that our lives are torn apart. But God is in the business of restoration, gently setting and healing our broken limbs. Lovingly sanding down the rough impurities in our personality and buffing us until we "shine like stars in the universe." If the God of the universe was willing to die a brutal death because He loves me, it is ridiculous to doubt that He has anything less than an amazing and perfect story for me, when all is said and done.
So this week, when I'm feeling discouraged and certain that the God is never going to make a way for us to follow through with the love He has planted in our hearts for our First Neighbors, my prayer is that He would draw my eyes upward to the love He demonstrated on the cross and in His empty tomb, so that I can be confident that "He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion." Even if things don't go the way I hope they will.