As I started the bi-annual slew of dental appointments for the family, it was a treat to step out in the beginning of March in Michigan and feel near 50 degree temps. Most people think of March as the beginning of spring, but here in the great north we are not fooled into thinking the snow and cold are done. Hope usually gives way quickly to the next freezing cold day or ice storm. Grey days still loom and dirty snow still sits in piles on the curbs. Our own road, high in elevation, remains ice and snow covered, an instant reminder that winter still has its grip on the frozen earth even though the air temperature might intermittently suggest otherwise.
This winter, in particular, has been surprisingly mild. So while we wait for the other shoe to drop, it’s nice not to need to bundle up from head to toe to stay warm. How is it though that each year, time and time again, no matter how long winter holds on, even to the end of April, every warm up brings renewed hope that the cold death grip of winter is over? We know better. We understand it’s not likely to end soon. And yet, year after year, hope springs forth with each slight rise on the thermometer or a single ray of sunshine.
What inside of us causes us to hope amid renewed disappointment? I recall hearing awful yet truthful stories of prisoners of war or holocaust survivors who continue to hope after months or years of captivity. Such dire circumstances and still hope springs eternal. Wives whose marriages are in trouble, who have been dealt blow after blow of betrayal, and still they love and hope. Parents, whose child has grown astray from all that is right and good and is racing toward a path of destruction, stay up and pray and hope for a miracle change in direction. Where does hope come from?
I’ll always believe God instilled hope inside the human soul at the time he blew that first breath of life into a pile of dust and called us human. Hope is God-willed and meant to be eternal. He assures is in I Corinthians 13:13 that hope is meant to remain forever! After giving us an entire chapter on love, and telling us in verse 7 that love requires Hope always, he reminds us what is truly important and what is eternal. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Hope is necessary to the completion of journey!
I’ve always been given to hope. It’s just a bit of who I am. It doesn’t come easy among disappointments though. But like every ray of sun just before the spring, grab on to it and hold tight! When eternity meets you, and you are looking at the face of Jesus, you’ll know that hope was meant to be for a lifetime, not just a moment.