Advent – Hope

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As I slow down this week, I am remembering hope.

Hope for me is one of those tricky, abstract words. What does it really mean? Merriam Webster defines hope this way: 1. to cherish a desire with anticipation 2. trust 3. to desire with expectation of obtainment 4. to expect with confidence: trust

This time of year when I think of hope, I think of a childhood Christmas. The waiting, the expectation, the paging through toy catalogs, the writing and rewriting of the sacred wishlist, the sleepless night before Christmas, and the trusting, trusting in the magical appearance of packages in early morning light.  All this waiting and hoping for what Christmas morning would bring.

Somewhere though between the Christmases of childhood and adult, the hoping, waiting, and anticipation seem to slip away. Hope, which came so easily as a child, becomes increasingly difficult as the years pile up. Why is it so easy for children to hope and for adults not to?

The answer may lie in hope’s definition. Within a word so closely intertwined.

Trust.

Is this the part of hope, as adults, we keep tripping ourselves up on? Trust for a child comes easy. There are no experiences yet which prove just how untrustworthy trust really is.  An adult on the other hand carries an experience or two of pain which affects the ability to trust. Trust becomes tainted and hope is difficult to find.

Hope.

The reason for Christ’s birth.

Trust and hope. Verse after verse declares if we trust in Him, He will do this. (If we) “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, ” (He will do this) “He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust gives way to hope. The one gives birth to the other.

This week as we focus on the Hope of Advent, I pray you will remember trust, hope’s stepping stone. And may you have grace to release those things difficult to trust, and find hope as you find Him.

How are you trusting and hoping this season?

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