Hope by definition is: a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen, to expect with confidence, a feeling of trust.
That’s quite a weighty word wouldn’t you agree?
Undoubtedly, lockdown will have been one of the strangest experiences of many of our lives. One I pray we never have to live through again. We’ve missed our friends, family, loved ones. We’ve longed for Sunday afternoons in a beer garden with the sun on our faces. We’ve missed beach days, barbecues and birthdays.
Eight weeks in, we have seen a (vague) light at the end of the tunnel. But that is still a long way away and sometimes, I don’t know about you, I can feel a little hopeless. I wonder when this will all end, like really end, and hoping for ‘the other side’ doesn’t come easy.
I can’t count how many times I have said “I hope so” or “hopefully” in my life, but if I’m being truthful, I use those words to have a little pity party. I don’t ‘hope so’ because I’ve already resigned myself to the fact that my situation isn’t going to change. I’m not ‘hopeful’ because I am disappointed. This has, at times, also been my quarantine conversation.
When I was out on a walk a week or so ago, I was (real talk) in a foul mood, thinking about hope. I thought about how it’s so ridiculous and that I have none. Then, I got a picture about it and reflecting on it, I found it really interesting. Maybe you will too.
Hope is like a periscope. I am the submarine.
From what I know about submarines (which isn’t much) they travel submerged and navigate pretty much in the dark. They then use a periscope, essentially a telescope, that arises from the submarinesto see what is happening above surface level. What does the landscape look like? What is around? Is it safe? The viewer looks through the lens of the periscope and through reflections can gain a 360 degree view of what is happening 250m above where they actually are.
I don’t know your personal story, or where you’re at. But from my heart to yours, if you feel submerged by your circumstance or the route you’re taking feels dark, you can choose to look through the lens of hope.
When we look through the lens of hope, though we may still be submerged below the surface, we can see beyond. The beauty of a periscope is that it picks up a 360 degree view. Looking through the lens of Hope gives us a more comprehensive view than the lenses of doubt, fear or uncertainty ever could.
If you looked through a lens of Hope what would you see? If you were to view your situation expecting a shift with confidence, how would it look? If you were to see your struggle and trust that relief will come, how would it change you?
If you’re anything like me, I can sometimes tread a fine line between hope and fantasy. Honestly, it puts me off hoping for anything. Like I said before, I resign myself to the fact that things won’t change. However, the way in which hope is different to fantasy is, it has a firm foundation and my firm foundation is Jesus. I believe that my hope is completely in him and who he says that he is. So, I decided to read what the bible had to say about hope. It says a lot, but what really struck me was some words that I read connected to hope or hoping, particularly in Jesus.
- When we have hope, we are bold (2 Corinthians 3:12 )
- Hope inspires us to endure (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
- Hope anchors our souls (Hebrews 6:19)
- We can have joy in hope (Romans 12:1)
Something to leave you with, something that I am trying out right now. Keep hope simple. Hope is magnificent yet still microscopic. I’m trying to hope simply that tomorrow will be a good day, so that in time I can hope for something that seems crazy to me. Our obedience in hoping confidently for the small things, trains us and equips us to confidently hope for things much bigger.
When the lens of past failure begins to rise, choose hope.
When the lens of doubt takes charge, choose hope.
When the lens of uncertainty clouds your view, choose hope.
Hope is a gift. We all have access to it. Let hope arise, look around and change your perspective.
A copy of this article was published previously here.