Hope Springs Eternal
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
I love this line from Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Man”. Sometimes hope feels like a slippery thing to me. I can’t quite seem to hold on to it all the time. I need to cultivate it in my heart, to rehearse it, to let it anchor my soul as Hebrews 6:19 declares: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” And this hope mentioned in Hebrews is the access we have to God in Christ, not through our performance and perfection, but through Christ.
I am grateful for a living hope example on my dining room table. Every Christmas, my mom carefully planted amaryllis bulbs for elderly family and friends. We delivered them with the trimmed ends of the bulbs poking out, brown and crinkly dry in the center of the pots. In the beginning there were many weeks of no visible action. Then a slow transformation, green shoots thrusting out of the dead-looking bulb. Rising quite tall and eventually offering shrouded buds. And then, overnight, hope trumpeting in four directions. Glorious. I am instructed by this process every year when things feel dry, invisible (unseen) or impossible.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11