Hope is…

 

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When we moved house down to beautiful southern Tasmania, we had to do a lot of driving. That week there was rain every day. And you know what else? There were rainbows every day. Driving along the Huon River, there was rarely a drive where we did not see a rainbow.

Sometimes, in the midst of the storms and rain, it can be easy to focus on the mud. If we just look at our muddy feet or mud-splattered windscreen how easy it is to miss the glory above us. You can’t see a rainbow if you don’t look up.

I have been thinking on this: hopelessness, not death, is what should be feared.

If we love Jesus, believe in his promises, we grieve with hope. Hope that one day restoration will come. Take hope away, and what is left? “Lessness.” Just… LESS. Hope expands us, revives us, gives our spirits room to breathe. Vision for a better future, a healed, connected future… it gives us a reason to keep pushing through the pain.

Anyone can grasp this: do we not hope that broken legs will heal again? Without hope, waiting for broken bones to mend and the body to be restored would be horrible and depressing. The wait would seem unending, and anyway, how could we know that the leg won’t just stay the same?

Hope says, I believe my circumstances aren’t always going to be like this. Things will get better. One day I’m going to walk on this leg again. One day my heart will be healed.

We see in a rainbow a declaration of nature: the rain isn’t over but I’m grabbing hold of the sunshine that’s peeking through. The storm isn’t done yet, but I’m not going to wait to shine. It’s wet and miserable, but look at me, I am transforming this greyness into vivid beauty.

A rainbow reminds us that hope is most beautiful when the rain is pouring. If the rainbow waited until the rain was over to shine, it would never shine at all.

If we wait until life is good before we hope again, really, we have missed the whole point and purpose of hope.

Hope is planting seeds in spring.

Hope is pruning your fruit trees.

Hope is wearing thongs on your feet when Spring has barely begun.

Hope is buying a bigger car, because this one just won’t fit three kids.

Hope is getting that book you love, even if you don’t know how you’ll find time to read it.

Hope is declaring, “I will rejoice in my Heavenly Father, even though I don’t understand his ways.”

 

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