If there is a recurring theme in my email inbox, it is one of questioning. Are there reasons to be hopeful? Is life going to get better? What do I do with the reality of my fears? Will the wave of uncertainty ever end? Am I strong enough to push through to something different in the future?
The heart of the questions echoes my life’s current fears and feelings. They are very real. I know there are facts underpinning the emotions. I also understand that it will take hard work for life to change. Yet, changing the facts through effort is not the only element one needs to see differently. One needs hope.
The struggle to hold hope’s hand is not a new one. For centuries, people of all generations are somehow lost their grips on this illusive emotion. Sometimes, even places of refuge and strength need help from the outside. “On the Sabbath they went to the meeting place and took their places. After the reading of the Scriptures—God's Law and the Prophets—the president of the meeting asked them, ‘Friends, do you have anything you want to say? A word of encouragement, perhaps?’” (Acts 13.14, 15)
Today’s problems are consuming communities and the lives that make each unique. A key element required to reduce our fear and control uncertainties is the tangible reality of hope. I find that the Spirit reminding me of the ways I can grasp Hope’s hand.
I can decide that the possibility of a better life is a possibility. Others, even God, can encourage me, however I am the only one that can take this step.
I can embrace the beauty and wonder in life. There is a universal truth within each experience.
I can reach out to hope through my words and actions. I do not need to wait. I can be proactive. I can do the right things for the right reasons, including sharing a smile, lending a hand, and forgiving others before they realize they need forgiveness.
As I reach for Hope, I find Hope reaching for me.