The Christmas decorations are down and put away for another year. One grandson has returned to Western Oregon, and our son, daughter-in-love and two other grandsons are back in California. The house is a little darker without the Christmas lights and our hearts a little lonelier without our loved ones.
We are blessed to have our youngest son, daughter and son-in-love here in Idaho. It’s still hard to have more than half the family in other places. And while I know that having everyone here is only a brief respite from the separations, I still get sad when life goes back to being what it is.
Now I am looking forward to spring when we will travel to California for a birthday, and early summer when we hope to travel to the Oregon coast for a vacation that will include a visit to our grandson. During the times of separation, I live on hope of the next visit.
Hope is a marvelous four-letter word. I can think of nothing worse in life than to be without it. I find it interesting that you don’t find the word hope (the Greek elpis) very often in the Gospels, but it is found repeatedly in the other New Testament books. I think that must be because when Jesus was walking among them, they didn’t need “hope.” It wasn’t until He returned to the Father that their need for hope became real and vibrant.
It is in our separations and sadness that we need hope. It is when life take a turn we aren’t expecting or one we aren’t pleased with that we need hope. It is when we feel lost or lonely or isolated that we need hope. Paul ends his marvelous letter to the Romans with a prayer. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” [15:13]
That is also my prayer for you (and for me) for 2020.