The weather is finally getting warmer in Maryland. That means I’m looking forward to getting back on the water with my dogs! The thought of more memories along the bay, fills me with great hope as we head towards summer.
Hope—with a capital H and with a lowercase h—is so important for the human soul; it gives us meaning, purpose, and the ability to press on. It’s something I’ve simultaneously wrestled with a great deal, and clung to as my life preserver during impossible days and seasons.
Hope gives us meaning, purpose, and the ability to press on.Tweet
I think it’s safe to say everyone has experienced some type of crushed hope or disappointment during COVID-19. How do we cope when hope is lost?
One important step is to realize that our hope can get so intertwined with our expectations for life, especially in the postmodern word where we’ve been conditioned to believe that we can control every aspect of our life.
When we release our expectations (albeit a very difficult process), we can have a more grounded experience of hope. I love how Victor Frankl puts this in his must-read first-hand account of his experience as a concentration-camp survivor, “Man’s Search for Meaning”:
“We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement. When we are no longer able to change a situation—just think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer—we are challenged to change ourselves.”
COVID has upended so much that we all are being forced to recalibrate our hopes for the summer and fall. I have personal challenges—as I am sure you do—that are also allowing me to refocus on how to change myself since I cannot change the circumstance. It means I just need to loosely hold on to the hopes that I have: my time on the water this summer may not look exactly the same as last year because of an injury, but I will be okay (not sure about the dogs though!).
Ultimately, as a follower of Christ, I always have my capital-H hope to cling to—promises from his Word that I believe and know to be true. Even if every earthly hope is dashed, God is with me, loves me, and will not abandon me.
Even if every earthly hope is dashed, God is with me, loves me, and will not abandon me.Tweet
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 ESV