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A Prayer of Hope

January 22, 2024

Adam R. Nettesheim

I’m terrified to hope, oh God.
To crest its rocky ledge,
to step off in uncertainty,
trusting an unseen pledge.


The falling is so frightening, 
the waiting, even worse.
A hope that remains unfulfilled
is like a blessed curse.


“I know the plans I have for you” 
You say, I’m sure that’s true, 
but I, Oh God, have just a few 
plans of my own for You. 


I want to know how it all works.
I want You figured out.
I’d like a map of how You’ll make
redemption come about.


My expectations have a floor
I’m falling quickly toward.
When You don’t do the things I want,
I simply feel ignored.


I hit the ground, it hurts so much.
Is this what You call grace?
I had an expectation, God,
that You seemed to efface.


But now a crack, and then some more,
beneath my cratered soul.
The fragile floor breaks under me,
I fall without control.


My mind can’t comprehend, Oh God,
what all of this must be,
which butterflies makes hurricanes,
what ripples churn the sea. 


To weave the stories of this world
must surely be a feat,
and work the gears of time itself
from mercy’s judgment seat.


The plans of ‘how’ I just can’t hold,
I must give up my right
to figure You all out, my God,
to have Your perfect sight.


And now this space feels differently, 
the fall feels like a glide.
The weight of expectation gone,
in the absence, I’ll abide.


But I still hurt when I can’t see.
Sometimes You’re hard to get.
But likely wouldn’t hurt me less
to know it all, I bet.


My hope, I know, can’t come from me.
My thoughts aren’t always true.
Hope is a Being, not a thing.
I find my hope in You.


I won’t hold You to promises
I made and then You broke.
I’ll watch for You expectantly,
await Your first brushstroke.


When flown through clouds, when I can’t see,
when I can’t steer or grope,
I know I’ll never bottom out






The featured artwork titled “A Prayer of Hope” is (c) Adam Nettesheim and is used with his gracious permission for Cultivating.


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