Where is my hope?

Hope is one of those things that all of us have in one form or another. We have hope that the sun will rise tomorrow morning. We have hope the roads will hold up the weight of our cars as we drive to wherever we need to go. We have hope that, as Bob Marley so eloquently sang, “Every little thing… is going to be alright.”

The other day was one of those days, though, that reminded me afresh that we live on this side of heaven and the things that I sometimes place my hope in without even really thinking about it, can be taken in the blink of an eye. We know of precious families that have loved ones who are suffering from devastating illnesses, struggling to fully comprehend the prognosis. We know of people who have had to deal with the loss of jobs, which of course, rarely happens at a “good” time. And still others, usually mamas, who must watch helplessly as some little one they love experiences rejection or shame from taunting, immature peers.

Of course, the above examples range widely on the pain they can inflict in someone’s life, but pain is definitely there in some form, along with a feeling of helplessness and lack of control, anxiety, frustration, anger, and of course, a shattering of hope – can anyone else relate? Life can be so incredibly difficult sometimes and can leave us feeling blind-sided.

But someone brought this to mind: Where is our hope? What, exactly, are we hoping in? Are we putting our trust in our health? Are we putting our trust in statistics (such a low probability, it’ll never happen to me)? Are we putting our hope in the goodness of others? Again and again, these things we put our trust and hope in will disappoint us minimally and outright fail us more often than not. It just all seems so… pointless. So why hope? Should we just live for today and make the best of it? Should we walk around angry that chance didn’t give us more or better?

Without Jesus, I’d have to say those would be viable options. But those of us in Christ know that, “…hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5). We have hope because of Jesus. He is the Rock of our Salvation. He will not disappoint. He is the only thing in this world that is sure and true.

I love this quote from C.S. Lewis:

“Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”

We can’t always avoid difficult things from happening to us, and what can be even harder to deal with is watching someone we love having a go with difficult things happening to them. But at the end of the day, do we truly trust that God is in control? Do we really believe that God works all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28)? Do we really have hope in Jesus?

I write all of the above, knowing that I myself have an incredibly hard time with fully trusting God more often than I care to admit. I WANT to have my hope rooted only in Him, but my intentions and my actions don’t always match up (anybody else?). My heart hurts even thinking about any of my children having to face the hardships of life, for example. I want to protect them and wrap them in pillows from head to toe. My Mama Bear teeth are ready for action the moment I see snarkiness emanating from a playmate against any one of my babies. But when I stop and think about it, I’m trying to play God. I think I know better, and/or I just want to have control. (awesome post about this – a definite must read!). And that’s just for my kids!! Obviously this can apply to just about any and every area of our lives. We/I need to trust God and sometimes get out of His way. Not that we shouldn’t protect our children, as in the above example, but as we help our children, we need to continually point them to the One Who gives us ultimate hope and meaning.

I pray that when we face seemingly insurmountable mountains of trials in our lives, we don’t just give ourselves a pep talk and trust in our talents or our intelligence or our strength. I also pray we don’t hide and grieve in despair. But I pray that we can face life and all of its painful and difficult seasons with grace, love, and hope in the One Who is worthy, and that instead of having clenched fists raised, we can have outstretched hands lifted up in praise, singing “It is well with my soul.” Let’s all walk boldly, together, in that truth this year. Who’s with me?

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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