Holding onto Hope
This has happened to all of us. At the right time at the right place we’ve said the right thing. Of course! We’re brilliant (or mostly brilliant).
Here’s a little truth for you. Sometimes I scramble for just the right thing to say at the right time. My job is to convey the Word of God in truthful, insightful, relative, and relatable ways, and sometimes this truly flows. At other times, I have three deadlines with school and church and column and have literally one moment to work on what’s next. Yikes!
This ‘in the moment thing’ happened last week when I produced what is now called A Mid-Week Meditation, a creation for Facebook friends and followers of my author site on Facebook. [Please visit this if you like.] Well, this past Wednesday, I was tapped out. Done. Nada. NOTHING happening between the ears.
So, I pray, turn left and notice a notepad—a really, really good one that I never use because I want it to last forever. It’s the self-sticky kind, an added treasure. On the top it reads, “Love me, Love my dog.”
This began my thinking about Hope, the first candle lit for Advent which began this past Sunday, December 1. Inspired by the Spirit, I immediately wrote the following:
“Given the number of “best friends” I’ve been blessed to love over the years (and the answer is a LOT), I think a dog really gets the hope the first writer in Isaiah is speaking of because a dog GETS hope intrinsically.
“All the stars in super sad dog movies have one characteristic we who walk with God have too, and that’s indelible hope.
“APPLICATION: Hope. Hope like a dog hopes, and the world will be so much better.”
I think I did it. I think I gave the world a piece—and a peace—of what hope for the Christian is. What the Christian consists even when the darkest of circumstances surround us (and sometimes these circumstances hold tremendous weight and pain) is hope. We have hope because we really do not live in this world; we who love Jesus look to and long for the next world, heaven (John 15:17, John 17:14-16, Romans 12:1-2, and 1 John 2:15-17). No matter how dark the day is now, and we can get down sometimes, this fact remains: we know God is with us in the now. We also know God never abandons us (Deuteronomy 12:6, Isaiah 41:10, Joshua 1:9).
As many Christians approach Christmas systematically with lighting Advent candles, which I encourage you to participate in if you’re currently not attending church); I encourage you to see the tremendous value of hope.
Specifically, I encourage you to see the tremendous value of hope by understanding Advent and hope in this way: our God is not only with us (He sent His Son, Emmanuel), but also our God loves us.
Be inspired to do the right thing at the right time—with or without notepads and talk of dogs! Let skeptics and unbelievers know that Jesus isn’t a myth or historical figure long gone; let them see you who is built in the Father’s image (Genesis 1:26-27) doing what you’re called to do, which is love—and hope. The world needs to know that heaven is not only there but here. We are not God, but God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10) because we hold hope.
Don’t just hold hope. Share it.
This blog was first published in The Susquehanna Independent on December 4, 2019.