Just 4 letters.
H. O. P. E.
Where does it come from? Can it be bought or sold? How can just 4 letters make such a profound difference?
Can you smell hope? Does it bloom only in the spring? Is there a store that sells hope … a radio station that plays it?
What does hope sound like? Does it have taste?
I have discovered that hope may be the most valuable intangible that I embrace. If I refuse to hope … I am refusing to believe. I am ignoring an umbrella of faith.
I think that you can have hope without faith … but you can’t have faith without hope.
Life is hard, you know? Money runs out … bodies betray … people are difficult … things need fixing.
Is “hope” a Pollyanna-like attitude that ignores facts? I have never been very good at ignoring what I see or what I know. Perhaps I need to get over that.
I have found it much, much more difficult to live without hope than I have found it challenging to ignore facts. I will choose hope over facts any day. Every day, choosing hope seems like the best possible choice.
Can hope and facts co-exist? Are they compatible or mutually exclusive?
This is what I do know … my facts don’t tell the end of my story. What I see with my natural eye may actually be the pretense. What I am unable to see with my eyes may be the solid stuff of life.
And so I hope. I believe. I refuse discouragement and shake off despair. When my circumstances whine and scream and demand … I choose the quiet whisper of hope.
When the facts of my life thunder and quake and pontificate … I choose the sweet smile of hope.
We all choose. We choose hope or despair. Hope or discouragement. Hope or anything.
I don’t know what circumstances are shrieking at you today but I can tell you that if you can choose to hope you are choosing strength. And joy. And purpose.
Perhaps the facts that we face are actually only the fog that surrounds and therefore clouds our view from the truth of hope. Maybe when the cloudiness of our human existence lifts, what we will realize is that hope was not ignorance but it was substance and held more truth that the fog. Perhaps what we will know then, that we don’t know now, is that facts mask what is true, real and genuine.
And maybe, just maybe, what I need to remind myself every day is that hope is the foundation of the life that was meant for me.
And so I embrace a friendship with hope. I will wrap my mind around all that hope declares and promises. I will speak in hope and think about hope. I will use hope as the anchor of my very fragile soul.
“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.” – Psalm 31:24