Beggars Drive Ferraris

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If wishes were Ferrari’s then beggars would drive

Ever heard the saying, ‘If wishes were horses then beggars would ride’? A modern version would be, ‘If wishes were Ferrari’s then beggars would drive’.

My wishes are often just a strong feeling or desire for something that can’t, or most likely won’t, take place. Even as I say it, I know that the likelihood of such a wish coming true is as unlikely as a beggar driving his own Ferrari.

Often I use the word hope in much the same way as I “wish” for something to perhaps/maybe/possibly take place, but I realise it’s unlikely to happen, so I say:

  • Hope to see you soon (while knowing I probably won’t).
  • I hope I’ll pass my exam (but I didn’t do enough work to get through).
  • I hope my prince will come along riding a white horse.
  • I hope to be a millionaire within five years (but choose to sit at home waiting for a fairy godmother to wave her wand).
  • I hope the doctor has misdiagnosed this illness.

Hope is with us all the time

  • When despairing, our thoughts centre around hope.
  • When anticipating something good, our hope levels rise.
  • In dismal circumstances we become hopeless.

Is the hope we read of in the Bible the same as a vague yearning, a wishful sighing, but deep down it’s the same as a wish that’s unlikely to come true?

When the Bible speaks of God promising the hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2), how sure is that hope? Is the future hope of eternal life a pie in the sky wish, or can this promise be relied on without a shadow of a doubt?

Titus knew well enough that his readers’ understanding of hope was similar to mine, so he quickly adds the information that God doesn’t lie. That changes the picture—a lot.

  • God doesn’t lie.
  • God promised eternal life.
  • That’s real hope.
  • That’s the foundation of faith.
  • That’s sure knowledge.

Then why is it so difficult to be hopeful all the time? Why does doubt eat away at my hope?

When I look around at crime, senseless killing, fraud, death, pain, corruption, lies, broken relationships and religious crusades resulting in murder, my hope disappears like water poured onto hot sand. Should it?

If my hope is based on people, things or events happening around me, then that hope is about the same as wishful thinking. But when I base my hope on the sure promises of a God who doesn’t lie, my foundation for hope changes. It’s based on truth, and it’s secured in heaven by the one who pours that hope into my sore and longing heart.

Here is my challenge: to keep my hope fixed in God and His promises, not on what I see around me.

Where and in whom is your hope based?

For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel. – Colossians 1:5

Shann de Smidt

Shann lives with her husband on a smallholding outside of Pretoria. She teaches four and five year olds and is the principal of a school in Pretoria. She has written articles for newspapers and had school textbooks published but recent writing has been school newsletters! Spending time with children and grandchildren, growing cymbidiums, reading, studying and creating unique jewelry fill spare moments.

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