Hope Springs Eternal
I’ve seen people giving up lately.
Giving up on that miracle that they’ve prayed so desperately for.
Giving up on their faith and walking away.
It breaks my heart.
My mother-in-law used to say something all the time “As long as there is breath left in the body, there is hope”. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a truer statement.
And what I’m learning is that we all need hope. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning. It’s where we find the strength to face another day. It’s where we find the strength to love again even when we’ve been hurt. It’s what keeps us fighting the fight of faith.
We use that word a lot – hope. I hope I get the job. I hope it doesn’t rain (or snow if you live where I do). I hope she gets better. I hope things get easier. I hope, I hope, I hope.
We attach our hope to things we can see. Jobs. Illnesses. The weather. But Hope was never intended to be a natural thing. Hope is supernatural. Hope is supposed to go deeper than the natural. I believe that hope is birthed in the very heart of God. God knew it would not be easy living apart from him. He knew that the Enemy of our soul would seem to work overtime sowing seeds of discouragement in our lives. So God planted deep within each one of us a tiny seed of hope.
Most days we don’t even know it’s there. But in our darkest, most desperate times that tiny seed creates a miracle. A miracle that most of us overlook. It breathes new life into us. Hope calls us higher. Time and time again I’ve seen people who seem to have lost everything find the strength to take one more step, to try one more time. That’s hope. I’ve sat with people who have survived the unimaginable. People who should not be okay because of the experiences they have suffered. Yet they continue to seek the good in this world. That’s hope.
I don’t pretend to know why some prayers get answered and some do not. Why some survive and others die. Why one person gets their miracle and another does not. But I do know this – in the searching for the answers to those questions – I found the source of my hope in God. My hope is not in the natural. In the things of this world. My hope is anchored in the heart of God. I know that God is good. I know that God loves me. I know that even in my present condition I am enough for Him. He is my source of hope.
I’ve been through it. I’ve lost. A lot. I’ve mourned. But just like Job I refuse to let go of the fundamental idea that God is good & He is still on the throne. Perhaps Job is one of the most hope-filled books in the Bible. Not because of what happened to Job but because Job refused to let go of his belief that God was still there and still good, despite his circumstances. Maybe that is the picture of hope we should pass down to our children instead of this idea that God is like Santa Claus – granting wishes to some and giving coal to others – because that is not at all who God is.
Psalm 25:5 - Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
That’s the kind of hope we all need. Hope that is rooted in our Savior. Not in the things of this world. We need our hope to have roots that go deep – way beyond anything we can see or touch or feel. Rooted in the very heart of God. That kind of hope doesn’t come overnight. It takes time – seeking the truth of God, studying the very heart of God until our hearts long for Him and Him alone.
The truth is that life will be unkind at times. We will struggle. Things will be hard. But hope is bigger than all of that. Hope can be found even in the darkest of times. Hope comes with the dawn of each new day. In the smile of a child. In the song of a bird. In the kindness of a stranger. We each carry hope inside us, planted there by God. We can choose to focus on the darkness or to let our hope shine. We can even choose to share our hope with those around us or a stranger that is looking for a reason to live to face another day. Hope is perhaps the most powerful evidence that God does indeed exist. Choose wisely.
Where does your hope come from?
What are you doing to water the seeds of hope planted in your life?
What are you doing to encourage the hope in those around you to spring forth?