Recently, on the drive to school, my boys were snuggled into their seats with blankets and heavy coats. Overnight the fall air had descended and turned the warmer temperatures into promises of apple cider and pumpkins.
As we drive the curves to our little school in the middle of cornfields, we have a routine. We watch for wildlife and marvel at the changing of the trees with each passing morning. At one particular corner, we always anticipate coming around the bend because we suddenly see a piece of God’s touch on nature.
Winding our way through the forest, we emerge on the other side overlooking a vast valley with the eastern mountains standing guard in the distance. Each morning this landscape looks different. This particular morning, the fog laid thick on the valley swallowing up the barn and farmhouse that normally added some country charm to the picture in front of us.
The bright golden sun cresting over the top of the distant hills and the amber rays that dispelled any sign of darkness or shadows caught our attention. In the few minutes it took for us to continue our drive along the road parallel to this valley we watched, captivated, as the sun made its way higher into the sky and cast a breathtaking glow on everything below.
My boys became quiet with their chatter and we all breathed deeply in the peace and stillness we witnessed.
As the fall days continue, this is what we now wait to see with expectant hearts as we round this corner. A sense of hope. An attitude of expectation. A heart of joy.
These same truths are the building blocks of many of the timeless stories of Scripture. Moments of hope appear in disappointing circumstances. Places of joy and peace intersect with the lives of women of faith in the stories we are privileged to read.
These women’s lives were messy. They dealt with deep loss and unsettling tragedies. They found themselves in places of desperation, sought to trust God, and remained faithful to their families.
We see women who constantly battled the lies that we secretly fight today.
Sarah struggled with believing God could be trusted when she was told she would have a baby.
Ruth chose to leave all she knew to support her mother-in-law.
Abigail fights loyalty to a husband who is unruly and has a marred reputation.
The widow of Zarapeth suffers to understand why she and her son might die when Elijah shows up.
We hear Mary sing when she is blessed with the enormity of carrying the Savior of the world.
Each of these women had different stories and each had a chance to focus on the God who heals, sees, and cares. They learned that God is greater than their circumstances and desired to give to them graciously. While the situation may have seemed bleak and unfair, God always stepped in to rescue their distracted hearts and point them back to Himself. He consistently walked with them in their darkest times and danced with them in their joy.
This expectancy to see God be faithful takes practice. He promises in Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope”. When we see women who walked before us experience the faithfulness and dependability of God, it sets us up to have a hopeful heart that can not wait to see how God will take care of our own set of circumstances.
The women of the Bible carry stories that tell messages of love and future assurance that only God can bring. Their story becomes part of mine as I look to the horizon with expectation in the One who holds the future forever.
Laura Sumpter is a native of the Pacific Northwest. She has been a teacher for over 20 years and she loves teaching children and women of all ages how to practically apply Scripture. She counts her husband and three children as the greatest blessings of her life. When she is not writing or teaching you can find her at the beach, in her garden, decorating her home, or playing with her family. Laura lives each day believing that God is faithful, no matter the circumstance. She desires to express the deep and satisfying hope that only Jesus can bring. You can find the lessons God is teaching her at her blog https://lauraesumpter.com/ or on Instagram.