Hope in the Quiet

In our Happy Blue School, one of our ‘off limits’ words to use in the boys’ writing work is ‘good.’

It’s not that good is not a good word. It’s just that the boys had a tendency early in our homeschooling Happy Blue School life to overuse it. It was my desire that the boys find ways to describe something in a more visually instructive way in their reader’s mind. So, when Caleb and Jake find the ‘good’ word in their reading, they are like, “Wait a minute, Mom! What’s up with this?”

Both boys have been known to look up at me with a gleeful expression and remark:

“Look, Mom, the word ‘good’ is printed in my reading assignment!”

“Mom! Look! There’s the word ‘good’ in my language arts book!”

“Mom! See! It’s okay to write the word, ‘good!’ I found it in my history lesson.”

And of course, the boys really feel proudly vindicated when they announce…

“Mom, take a look! I found ‘good’ in my bible verse!”

As you can tell, Jake and Caleb are not about to let me off the hook anytime soon. They think I’m a little crazy to be requiring them to use a different word other than good. Especially when they keep finding this good word in print in their devotional reading. If good was good enough for the authors of the Bible, it should be good enough for us all.

That’s what Caleb and Jake think.

And maybe, they are on to something.

My ‘good’ word alert went off today as I read these verses:

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

New International Version, Lamentations 3: 25-26

Not only did the NIV translators choose the word ‘good’ once, but chose to highlight it twice! Jake and Caleb would be all over me for this good word repetition!

Good comes from the Hebrew transliterated word towb. Towb has countless meanings as well! Towb can mean something is agreeable and pleasant to the senses – sight, sound, taste, scent, and touch. Towb conveys that something was created with excellence – land, fruit and vegetable, and mineral. Towb indicates that something is rich in both quality and quantity. To dig even deeper, towb also connotes that someone is good, kind, gentle, and generous. In towb, there is joy, delight, happiness, benefit, favor, gladness, and excellence.  Last of all, when the word towb is used as an adjective, it means good in its widest sense.

Good is just a wonderful, delightful, pleasing and all-sufficient word.

So, it is enough to say, the Lord is good.

Caleb and Jake would like that!

However, the Lord is not only good, but He is gentle, kind, loving, and generous to those who place their hope in Him. Hope comes from the Hebrew transliterated word qavah. Qavah means to wait patiently for – in hope and expectation. Thus, the Lord demonstrates his lovingkindness and care to those who seek Him in their waiting space of prayer, solitude, and silence.

For this silent waiting space is a pleasant, favorable, pleasing, and hope-filled space.

It’s not human nature to wait in silence, is it?

Often, grumblings and grievances rise in the form of whispers and murmurs. A spirit of discontentment erupts. Complaints, objections, and accusations screech and squawk from the anxious, impatient heart. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Friends, there is hope in the quiet.

The Lord’s goodness renews and strengthens the hope-filled soul.

The good that is offered us in this hope space is the goodness of God in the widest sense! The joyful, pleasing, beneficial, favorable, happy, right, glad, delightful, morally beneficial, and excellence of God is ours – in the hope-filled, quiet space of waiting.

Friends, discouragement abounds these days. There are so many people I know who are struggling to hold onto their cords of hope. Jeremiah, who wrote these verses, understood the challenges of hopelessness and despair.

Jeremiah waited upon His Lord in the quiet place and it was there His hope was found!

Today is Good Friday – and yes, there’s that good word again!

On this day, over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ offered up Himself as a good, pleasing, and perfect sacrifice for all generations on a cross at Golgotha. Three days later, the living hope of Jesus Christ would arise from the grave following his brutal and disgraceful execution. Through the Lord’s great mercy, those that chose faith in Him would become dead to their sin and transgressions through the transforming power and infinite grace of Jesus Christ as a result of his death and resurrection – an expansive, all-encompassing, life-giving good!

Caleb and Jake are right.

Good is a good word; and in those good, quiet spaces as we reflect upon the Jesus Christ our Lord and His sacrifice we find hope and salvation.

Truly, we can say:

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

Reflect upon the Lord’s goodness on this Good Friday.

Wait in quiet hope.

Be encouraged.

His good Presence is sure. Caleb and Jake would agree!

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