Four+ years ago my world fell apart in the span of a single day. The striving was stopped, the progress was paused, and everything I thought I wanted fell to the bottom of the list.
One day I was a 22 year old CPA building a career that I just knew would end in a firm where I was the boss. The next day I was a 22 year old whose only thought was “Someone please make this headache go away.”
The months that followed included a number of attempts at relieving pain, a surgery in what my surgeon referred to as “God’s country,” and a life lived with the knowledge that deep pain can be the birthplace of even greater joy, that hope is more than just something we want.
So much of our culture holds happiness in the place of hope. We worship the things that make us feel good, and curse the things that don’t. We forget that happiness is often fleeting, easily taken from us by something as simple as a slow driver in front of us or the grocery store being out of our favorite ice cream.
Hope. Hope is different.
Hope exists when we are happy, and then when the happy fades, the hope remains.
Hope doesn’t make everything “good.” It doesn’t resolve the problem or take away the pain. It simply sits with us where we are.
When our world falls apart, hope whispers “This is not the end of the story.”
When pain confines you to your bed, hope whispers “There is a Healer.”
When loss takes from us, hope whispers “You have not lost Me.”
When division brings barriers, hope whispers “My love cannot be bound.”
When you realize life as you knew it is no more, hope whispers “I am doing a new thing.”
New things, new ways, new jobs, new limits can often feel scary. They often are scary. But even there, in the new and the unfamiliar, hope whispers “I am already here.”
You see, our hope is more than a feeling, a thing, a sense. Where happiness is often elusive, hope is eternal because our hope is a person, and His name is Jesus.
All of our lives: our loss and our limits, our rejoicing and our rest, our change and our challenges, our success and our lack thereof...all of it finds a home in Jesus.
Where the world tells us to be happy, our Hope whispers "be with me." It is here in His presence we hear words of life and healing and promise and power. It is here in His presence we find His power to hold the whole world together bends low to hold us together too.
May we remember that the hope we hold is not a fleeting feeling but a sustaining Savior.
"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word..." -Hebrews 1:3