Hope 6

When I was pregnant with the littlest Luit, I attended a Bible study, the focus of which was HOPE. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Each week we looked at Psalms to discover the nuances of these four small letters, strung together with so much heft they could raise mountains.

What does it mean to HOPE?

HOPE is one of those words that’s easy to throw around, but like water, it’s hard to catch in a net. We hope to get a good grade. We hope to make it on time. We hope to find a million dollars and the secret to everlasting happiness, which we usually hope (assume) go hand in hand; I’m willing to test the theory.

But what do we really mean when we hope? And is there a difference between a hope based on wishes and a hope based on something else entirely?

In the Psalms, hope is not a genie in a bottle bringer of three wishes. Hope is not a whim for salvation from enemies. Hope is a strong tower, a defense, a first and last resort and it is unmoving. Unmoving. Hope is certain, sure and promised. Hope is not a fly by night half intentioned prayer for lunch money. It is a gut deep reliance on a truth that evades understanding.

You know there’s a running story coming, don’t you?

Today, I hovered the cursor over the button. It said, REGISTER NOW! its blue and green hues practically daring me, virtually assuring my victory, if I’d just click that tempting little button. So, like I do, I clicked the button. It’s official. I have registered to run a marathon. Twenty six point two miles. On my own feet.

I don’t wish to finish. I don’t think I’ll maybe sort of give it a try. I won’t simply show up at the starting line and give it a go. I will prepare. I will run, and run and run. I will rest. And run some more. I have HOPE that I will finish, a true hope, because I will have done the work. It might not be pretty. It might hurt. I might say swears. But I will cross that finish line, on my own two feet because I will have my mind and my heart and my body set on the sustaining work I will have already done. I have HOPE of crossing the line. Oh, it will happen.

What’s hope? How do you define it? Oh, and if you want to give me gold stars during my marathon training, you go right ahead. I will need them all.


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6 thoughts on “Hope

  • Kristin T. (@kt_writes)

    First of all, I’m so proud of you!

    Second of all, I love the very simple but stark contrast you’ve made here—hope is not a whim, it’s a strong tower. Too often I think of hope as something ethereal and fleeting rather than solid and unmoving.

    • Jennifer Post author

      Girl. I will need your support, because this seems audacious, even for me! I think you’re exactly right; it’s more than what we think it is, hope. That study gave me the beginning of a solid understanding of what it really means. The rest I learn while moving in the world, like everyone else! Thanks, my friend.

    • Jennifer Post author

      Great idea. Or perhaps checking in every so often. I have found that since that study on hope in the psalms, my understanding of that little ethereal word has become much more solid. If I am ever in doubt, I just open those little onion skin pages to find the truth again.

  • Sara B

    Oh how that little word haunts me. Or maybe it taunts me? It says to me “Come on, just believe. Just hope. You can do it. You can do anything.” And so I do. Cause if I don’t, if WE don’t, HOPE, then there is nothing. No reason, no purpose, no goal & most importantly, no belief. And that’s just too sad to contemplate.

    Congrats on committing to the full! I think you’re crazy, but that’s just me. 🙂 Everytime I run a 1/2, I think, I can’t imagine only being half done. But, you will kill it. Because you have hope & determination… and you’re a redhead. We gots a little something extra. I think its called “Fierce”.

    Ok, now I’m off to look at my training schedule. Cause I have a 1/2 marathon to prepare for!

    • Jennifer Post author

      Oh, no! I’m not a natural red head! That was a very much fun summer whim. And now I think I must do it again! But I will say, Sara, that the last half I completed, I watched those full runners peeling off with a mixture of “suckers” and “I wanna go.” So, I think it’s time to make it happen.

      That said, I do like the half distance. It’s doable, it’s fun. And it’s done. So. We’ll see.

      And hope. Indeed. Without it, where would we be?