A Christian will part with anything rather than his hope; he knows that hope will keep the heart both from aching and breaking, from fainting and sinking; he knows that hope is a beam of God, a spark of glory, and that nothing shall extinguish it till the soul be filled with glory.
Hope has been a common theme this week in my life. Hope, for such a small word it carries a big punch. I have never been so hopeful in all my life. We are hoping for a referral, and soon. We are hoping that our baby is being loved and hugged and has enough to eat. We are hoping that our friends Steve and Kate get a court date soon to bring home their son. We are hoping for answers for Chad’s adolescent cousin's mysterious illness. We are hoping for the healing of a family in our church involved in a car accident who lost their two year old daughter. We are hoping that our friend finds a job, we are hoping that a co-worker’s family member’s test results come back negative for cancer.
Chad spoke to the teens on Wednesday night about hope. His scripture was from Hebrews 11: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
It was an inspirational message, as it always is. My little “hope meter” was restored! Then Thursday the news broke about the Fort Hood shootings. It was so senseless, so frightening. Our hearts ached with the loss of hope in mankind’s goodness. What has happened to our World?
That evening we were watching our “get me through till Lost starts again” show- Flashforward. It’s a great show by the way, and the episode we watching was themed around hope, more specifically, hope for the future. The premise is that everyone on the planet “blacked out” and saw a 2 ½ minute glimpse into their future on a specific date and time. Some people’s visions were joyful, some were ho-hum, some were frightening, others saw nothing but blackness, leading them to believe that on April 29, 2010 they would no longer be “part of the living”. They were left without hope. Stripped of life before it was even taken. But can’t the future be changed if we work to alter it’s course? Even God changes his mind…. Consider Jonah 3:10: “He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened” or Exodus 32: 12-14 “So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people". God hears our prayers and is moved by out petitions.
Today after I returned from lunch news broke of a shooting in an office building in my hometown. Two people were confirmed dead and several others were still unaccounted for. Once again, my hope in humanity was snuffed out. We all talked about “what our world is coming to” and I called a few friends that work in downtown Orlando to make sure everyone was alright.
I found this quote from St. Augustine that rang true for me: “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” Out of hope is born a righteous anger that isn’t afraid to combat evil and the courage to not be overcome with fear of the evil that is all around us.
This week I saw great hope too, through the birth of a new baby. Carl Sandburg once said that “a baby is God's opinion that the world should go on”. I don’t know of a better way to say it. 2 Timothy 1:7 confirms in us that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” There is power in hope. So I choose to remain hopeful. God is and always will be in charge.