It’s been hard to find words lately. It’s not that I don’t have opinions, because I do, but I haven’t felt the need to say them out loud above the noise that is life right now. A friend recently told me that her political platform is “listening” and I just had to smile inside. I can get on board with that, sister. I look all around, I lay awake at night, and I wonder where life is going. Not just my life, but the world and the church and all of it. You won’t be shocked to know that I’ve had some very discouraging days these past few months – we all have. But perhaps you will be surprised to know that I’m finding Hope in the midst of all the sadness.
You see, I’m no stranger to Despair. He’s an old friend that has tricked me in the past. I used to let him right into my living room, we had tea together, and we traveled a lot of road together. There have been seasons where I wanted Despair to leave, and I just couldn’t kick him out. Other seasons, I have enlisted friends and a host of resources, and together, we kicked him out and cleaned up the room. But now I see him for the Enemy that he is. It’s hard to hope when Despair keeps knocking. He’s tricky, you see. Sometimes he sneaks in the window, or comes in with the mail. He takes any form he can to weasel his way into your life. At first, he looks flashy and inviting, but he always leads to misery and despair in the end. Hope, on the other hand, is slow, hard work.
Hope is my closest friend now. You can’t remain lifeless and keep company with Hope. He doesn’t have unreasonable expectations, but there is certainly work to do. Some of it is interior soul work, and some of it is practical, get-out-and-help-someone work. Some of it is cleaning up my own messes, like stacks of paper that never seems to go away. It’s hard, but Hope stays right there with me and helps me press on. Hope is willing to go anywhere, with anyone who will open the door. Sometimes He invades lives in terribly dark times, and I’m praying that He will do that in the weeks and months to come. Other times, he sits outside and waits to be invited in. Perhaps that will happen as well.
Hope is not found in any political platform, miracle vaccine, new job, healed relationship, or earthly inheritance. It is found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. That is where I am staking all my hope these days, and I’m bringing anyone who will come with me. You are welcome here, friends. Hope is calling your name.
Further encouragement: Podcast with Max Lucado (on his new book, and being willing to hope)