We were just going about our business. We were living life the best we could. It wasn’t always easy but it was at least manageable most days.
Then, with little warning, we are suddenly confined to our homes. Suddenly learning new phrases like “social distancing.” Trying to figure out how to feed our families, and many becoming instant homeschoolers.
For some, a sense of fear has taken hold. For some, it has grown into panic and dread of tomorrow. But we feel helpless to do anything that will slow the spread of this virus as we see it taking over our homes, our cities and our nation. Most of us will not become sick but the fear that someone we love will die hangs in the back of our minds.
So what can we do to calm our fears? What we need is a large dose of hope but what does that look like? What exactly is hope, anyway?
Hope is not crossing your fingers and wishing for something good to happen or for something bad to NOT happen. It isn’t closing our eyes and holding our breath while we wait to see what happens.
The biblical concept of hope is to have a strong and confident expectation. The modern dictionary calls this definition archaic or old-fashioned. Biblical hope causes us to focus on the future. It makes us see beyond the present circumstance. It brings anticipation of what’s to come. It gives us the strength to live with courage and to remember that nothing in this life is forever. It gives us peace and joy in the midst of the trials and suffering of this life.
This difficult time we are living in reminds us that we can be thankful for the simple things in life. It reminds us that things can change overnight and everything we assumed about life can disappear with little warning.
We can’t wish this virus away but we can grab hold of the truth. Perhaps it’s time to embrace a little of that old-fashioned kind of hope. The hope that
“This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:5 (CSB)
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13 (CSB)