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Advent :: Hope

Hope has been a fragile, evolving thing for me lately. Something I’ve thought lots about….more than any other time in my life. I’ve been wondering how to have hope when everything seems so hopeless…wondering what exactly we are supposed to be hoping in….wondering how on earth I’m supposed to share hope with a hopeless world when I feel like I have no hope myself.

 

Five months ago, my heart was broken in two when my little sister died just hours after giving birth to her first baby girl. In one moment, my world crumbled, and I wasn’t sure I could hope in anything anymore.  I look around and see so many other people, also broken, doing their best to keep moving forward. I keep hearing Ellie Holcomb singing, “How do we go on?” and my heart sings the words with her. It seems the only thing that keeps me going is the hope of heaven. The hope that some day, all will be made new. Broken hearts will be healed. Broken families restored. There will be no shattered dreams or orphaned children or hearts that won’t beat.

 

I recently was reminded that Jesus’ whole goal while He was here on earth was to make a way for us to be with God again, the way we were in Eden…but not just after we die…Jesus was bringing heaven to earth…making little pieces of this broken world whole again. He was only one person, touching one life at a time, doing lots of small things that made a big difference. Bringing heaven to earth. When He prayed, that is what He was asking for….”Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

I listen to the rest of Ellie’s song, “We will sing to our souls. We won’t bury our hope. Where He leads us to go, there’s a Red Sea road. When we can’t see the way, He will part the waves, and we’ll never walk alone down the Red Sea road.” I think of the Israelites standing there looking at a Red Sea while chariots closed in behind them. They must have thought, “This is it. There is no more hope. Our dreams of freedom are about to be trampled.” But then, in an instant, God was with them. He opened the sea and made a way where there seemed to be no way. He was their hope.

 

Is God telling me the same thing? “I’m with you. Crying with you. Making a way. I AM YOUR HOPE!” Is that the same thing Jesus was trying to tell everyone? “You have hope BECAUSE I’m here with you, and I AM YOUR HOPE.” And, is that also how we are supposed to share hope with the world? By being with them in their brokenness? Since He’s in us, and He is Hope, isn’t that how we heal this world? By holding them, binding up their wounds and taking them to the only One who can truly be our hope?

 

I see the nativity set on the table in my house. I see the Baby lying in the hay, and I’m thankful. Thankful that He came to BE WITH US, and that a part of Him is still here comforting us, healing us and helping us to be a light to this world. I’m thankful that someday, because of what that sweet Baby did while He was here, we will know Hope like we’ve never known Him before.