“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.” ~ Emily Dickinson
Advent is a season some Christians observe as we wait for the arrival of Christmas. It begins the first Sunday in December where we light a candle of hope to signify the soon arrival of our Savior and King. It’s a time where we slow down a tiny bit and try to focus on Christ instead of all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. This is the first year that I’ve observed Advent and I’ve thought quite a bit about hope. What is hope? What is the difference between hope and faith? And why is hope the first candle that we light? Hope is defined as:
a feeling of expectation or desire for a certain thing to happen.
Faith on the other hand is:
the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hope is the predecessor to faith. We must have hope before we can possibly have faith, because we must expect to believe. When I was a little girl I wanted to experience snow. I was raised in South Louisiana and it never snowed. More than anything, I wanted a White Christmas. I loved that song and was dreaming of a “White Christmas” just like Bing Crosby and all of the crew. Every year on Christmas morning ,I’d wake up and look out the window on Christmas morning to see if it snowed, even if it was 80 degrees outside. The first time I saw snow I was a teenager. When it “snowed” if you could call it that, we had just moved into a brand new house and there were construction materials covering the yard. My mom would not let us go in the yard for safety reasons. At the time, I was angry, but as a mom today I totally understand. The next morning at school, my friends and I gathered up all the snow from the cars and made a 3 inch snowman and named him frosty. I’ve seen “snow” a handful of times throughout the years and it was about the same. I’d try to make a snowman with limited success. December 7th was a cold and rainy day. I was talking to someone and told her that I had never experienced true snow and thought I’d plan a trip to a snow resort so that I could experience snow. The weatherman said it might snow and gave it a low percentage. I thought, “It will snow further north, but it will never snow this far south”. I ate dinner and put on my pajamas figuring it would just rain and be miserable. Around 7:00, it started snowing! It snowed for about 2 hours and we got about 3.9 inches of snow! SNOW, REAL SNOW IN SOUTH TEXAS!!!
So my friends, never give up. Have hope. I waited a long time for snow.
Maybe you’re thinking that snow if a frivolous thing to hope for.
Maybe you have a wayward child and you are praying for a miracle in their life.
Maybe you don’t have a job and you don’t know how you’ll provide a Christmas for your family.
Maybe you’ve received a negative report from the Dr.
Maybe there’s an empty seat at the table this year and you are can’t comprehend it all.
I don’t know what your circumstances are but I know it’s never so bleak that you can’t hope. Let the hope that only Christ gives “perch” in your heart and soul. Remember Romans 5:2-7
“through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.”
Brave mamas, what are you hoping for? God loves you, hears your prayers and knows where you are during this season of hope. Dare to hope and see what happens! And most importantly, never give up!