Hope anchors the soul.
Hope, like faith, deals in the realms of uncertainty, or as Paul put it 1 Corinthians 13, riddles and mysteries and reflections. To talk about it only in regards to the weather is to diminish its very essence. We can HOPE that everyone comes to our party on the weekend, but where we see hope really come into its own is on the tightrope of trust and faith, edge-of-life kind-of-stuff. Faith and hope are daring twins.
We trust God because of the hope we have that he is the ultimate source and energy of it all. The buck doesn't stop at us.
That’s why “Hope anchors the soul” (Hebrews 16:9). It connects where we are right now to what is immeasurable, unthinkable, unknowable, and unseeable. Hope links our material, hard-facts, broken, rigid lives to the supernatural. It’s where heaven and earth meet.
Hope doesn’t mean the absence of struggle. It’s not the red carpet of ease. It’s gutsy. It can be as quiet as a whisper and as loud as a bellow. It’s where suffering and light join hands.
How do you get it?
How do attain it in hopeless times?
Can we buy it, can we bottle it up?
Can we pray into being?
Faith it into being?
Have it poured on us like oil?
Hope is not something that we can buy or get.
It’s a gift.
The tricky part is receiving it. Have you ever seen those pictures that when you stare at it long enough, and in a certain way, the picture changes? That’s a little what finding hope is like. You may need to adjust your vision, stay a little longer, listen a little closer… be patient. You won't find it around the edges of your circumstance, it’s smack bang, middle ground, in the eye of the storm. You have to go all the way through whatever it is you’re facing to find it. Aware, awake, alive. Not in denial; not distracted by platitudes and endless episodes of Grey's Anatomy, but doing the work. Walk and keep on walking, whether in the bright light of day, or the darkness of night, and you’ll find it.
Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, “For if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience…”
Be patient, dear friend.
“The theological virtue of hope is the patient and trustful willingness to live without closure, without resolution, and still be content and even happy because our satisfaction is now at another level, and our Source is beyond ourselves.” (Richard Rohr).