“I Wish…”: A Sign of Insufficiency or Hope?

glassPeople use “I wish…” in different ways. Thinking primarily of the instances people use it when they state what they wish someone else would do, such as, “I wish she would have…,” “I wish he could just see that…,” or “I wish she didn’t think…,” I often think the person making the statement is pointing out her own dissatisfaction or disappointment about the other person. It seems most heartfelt and intense when the “he” or “she” involved is a loved one, someone close. It irritates me at times, because I assume the person can’t see the possibilities and hope of the situation…and of the person involved.

But I might be wrong. (It happens on a regular basis.)

It might be that the depth of the relationship makes us sensitive to knowing the possibilities and longing for more for the person we love. It might have more hope infused into it than I choose to recognize. Still, the way we phrase our wishes for others reflects either a positive or negative perspective. But what if we ask ourselves, “What is it I truly long for in this situation, for this person?”

Maybe I’m just being too positive. Maybe some people truly use the “I wish” phrase to point out what they wish others would change because they only see the downfalls. To them, the glass is half empty. To some, half is never going to be enough. For others, half holds the potential for more. Hope eclipses dissatisfaction.

Regardless of our own perspectives, we need to consider how we communicate to others. We need to filter our messages to make sure that we are encouraging and challenging others. We can’t simply communicate in ways that we want to receive something, because when we’re sending the message, we’re not the receiver. We have to consider how he or she will receive it.

Would we rather communicate insufficiency or hope? Sometimes, the two go together. After all, we need to see our insufficiency to humbly grasp the possibility of hope. Sometimes. Other times, we need a glimmer of hope to open our eyes to the reality of dissatisfaction and disappointment.

Let’s remember God holds the glass and knows exactly how full or empty it is. Let’s not hang a sign that declares we’re in the life assessment business. We don’t know how all the pieces are going to fit together.

He does.

And His wishes for us are way beyond what we can imagine. He sees our insufficiencies, but He also sees our possibilities. And He is the source of all hope.


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