A selection from Kay Ward’s Park Benches
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14
Hope is all about waiting. We trust in something that hasn’t happened yet. Without hope, we are unbuoyed, at sea. Hope makes it possible for us to live in the between times—between the Already and the Not Yet.
As children, we despair of the waiting. I remember my mother did everything she could to help me make it to Christmas. That’s why someone invented the Advent Calendar. That’s why we cross off the days in December. We wait in hopeful anticipation. If we had the luxury of growing up as normal, happy children, we could trust that Christmas morning would come and the Easy Bake Oven would be under the tree.
It’s no different now that we are grown. We wait in hopeful anticipation for Christ to be born again. We are not disappointed. There is hope each year, that Christ will find room in our hearts and to be present in a new way.
Sometimes, we feel hopeless and wonder where we can get hope. Just as Advent Calendars filled with pieces of chocolate helped us as children to live in hope—so now does worship, hymns and devotional reading bring us hope.
God is a trustworthy God and each time we live again through the days of waiting, the days of Advent, we learn to trust in good outcomes for our lives. Hope does not mean we will always get the Easy Bake Oven, but gifts of grace will come. “Everything will turn out right in the end and if it doesn’t turn out right, it isn’t the end.” (From the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie.)
Holy God, you are a god of hope. You promise not that we will never know pain or sorrow but that you will be with us in that pain. Amen.