Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
Hope! That’s a word I don’t really pay much attention to.
I say things like, “Gee I hope we get a snow day so I can catch up a little.” Or, “I hope I can finish the laundry and get to bed before midnight.” I don’t think that’s the kind of hope Christ promises.
However, I got a little glimpse of how powerful real hope can be and I just had to share the story. A big group of teenagers from our parish boarded a bus at 5:30 last Wednesday morning headed for the March for Life Rally in Washington D.C. They spent two nights sleeping on gym floors, invested about 20 of the 60 hours they were gone traveling on a bus all to stand in the winter cold for one important reason…to support life!
It was not a luxury vacation they were excited about; the enthusiasm I saw in the early morning darkness was contagious and hopeful and rooted in something so much more important than a trip!
My classes prayed for those teenagers who went to the Nation’s Capital to make a statement about the desperate need for a culture of life. We prayed for their safety, we prayed for their mission, and we prayed that God and those who needed to hear their message would respond.
After prayers, the middle lovelies wanted to know what they would be doing on the trip, so I gave them a run-down of the activities of the trip which included a Rally with Chris Stefanick, a Matt Maher concert, and visits to the National Basilica and Franciscan University.
They all wanted to know how old they had to be before they could go. I asked them how many of them would like to go when they were old enough and many raised their hands enthusiastically.
Then one beautiful middle lovey said, “I don’t want to go!” Surprised at her response I asked her to explain. That’s when a tidal wave of hope washed over me and left me with tears.
She said, “I don’t want to go because I want abortion and all the babies it kills to end so there won’t even be one of these rallies to go to when I’m older.”
Holy cow! What hope; what faith! She understands the concept of praying with expectation. I realized how easy it is to grumble about all the things that are wrong in the world around us, but to pray with HOPE is a beautiful thing and it took an eleven-year-old to remind me of that.
I spent the rest of the day just floating on that feeling of hope and the joy and peace that came with it. I was pondering it all while running errands and grabbing a quick bite to eat with Dave.
Before our dinner arrived, we started chatting with a guy at the table next to us. He was outlining all the things that were wrong with this country. His rant on the woes of the world included everything from too many electronics to poor parenting to a complete lack of morals and overwhelming greed. Some of his thoughts had merit but I had to draw the line when he said something along the lines of, “This country’s goin’ to hell in a handbasket because the kids in this country are a bunch of spoiled brats who can’t do anything but take! It’s all pretty hopeless!”
After the day I’d had I absolutely could not have disagreed more! He didn’t know the kids I knew, he didn’t see what I’d seen or hear what I’d heard, and I felt badly for him. I tried to give him a glimpse, but he didn’t want to entertain the notion that he might be wrong.
I suppose he taught me that what makes hope so powerful is you have to want it! I want it, don’t you? If you could use a little hope, start in God’s Word then make it a point to look around you and find the folks that are alive with the love of Christ. Let them be the light of hope we all need in this crazy world. After you’ve grabbed onto some hope of your own, make sure you share it!
A Seed To Plant: Spend some time in the Word and find three or four verses that contain the word “hope.” Read, ponder, and share them!
Copyright: Sheri Wohlfert 2015
Image by Sheri Wohlfert. All rights reserved.