I’m afraid of hope. Like Red from Shawshank said, “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” (Just thinking about that movie makes me weepy.)
This season screams hope. Our kids drown in hopefulness. Or is it wishfulness? What’s the difference? We use them interchangeably, expressing a desire for something that is not. We wish for toys. We hope for toys. We wish for happiness. We hope for love. We wish for snow. Others hope not.
If you do a quick search on Google, you’ll find an article explaining the difference between hope and wish. Wish connotes something unlikely or impossible happening, like wishing upon a star will get you a miracle, whereas hope is something possible and even likely to happen. I don’t think that is entirely accurate. Why do we say “We wish you a merry christmas” – because we really don’t think it’s likely? haha for some people, sure.
But HOPE. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith, hope, love. These things remain. Faith and hope are different. We hope and it becomes possible, likely even, that all sad things will come untrue. Faith is being assured that this will happen. It goes a step beyond hope.
But hope is the first step. We HOPE for all things to come together. We have FAITH, not in ourselves, not in some generic vague sense. We have FAITH in our HOPE of Jesus. They’re building blocks to a life of perseverance and inhuman strength.
How are we building hope into our lives today?
As I enter this crazy season, I think about ways to recenter everything we do on Jesus – the FACT of his coming and the HOPE of his coming. We want to hope more than ever. We want to instill hope in our children. We want to build hope into their daily routines, seeing ahead of them and behind them, like a cloud and a pillar of fire, that Jesus was and is and is to come.
“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
remove every obstruction from my people’s way.”
-from Isaiah 57