Hope

Hope Is Disappearing For This Year’s Growing Season

                Ed, my neighbor next door, has been in an irritable mood lately. He has been frustrated about the progress of his farming. When Ed starts having two cigarettes at his smoke breaks and drinks more coffee every day, Ruby, Ed’s wife knows he is getting steamed up about everything and nothing. Ruby said the other day that if Ed doesn’t calm down he will soon be biting the dog. Ed is already saying that he is losing hope for this year’s growing season. Don’t tell Ed that the growing season could soon change for the better. He won’t listen.

                I understand grumpiness and crankiness, as I have had lots of firsthand experience with them both. Ed and I are often kettles who steam and boil over. You can never be too careful around us as we can scald with our irritability. Ed told me last week that he had a right to gripe. “If others had to deal with all my aggravations, they would be selling the farm and working at Walmart,” he said.

It seems the world is divided between the folks who keep their grumpiness hidden, and those who let it get away from them. Is it possible that the folks who are the crankiest are the ones that have lost hope for both today and tomorrow? Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind or the expectation of a positive outcome. It might be safe to say Ed is feeling hopeless because his desire for certain things to happen at his farm haven’t come to pass yet this season. Hope may dry up within us when our desires, aspirations and ambitions don’t materialize before us. Remaining hopeful and optimistic today and tomorrow no matter what our circumstances can be a challenge for everyone.

Where does hope come from? Sometimes it does come from a change in our circumstances, such as, the end of a stressful health situation, because of the success of different medicine or medical procedure. The paying off of a long term debt can result in feelings of more hopefulness about one’s finances. Yet, hope that comes with our circumstances can disappear like a shadow. That is why many have put their hope in God. When the Bible speaks of putting hope in the Lord, it is to be found in God’s word and His unfailing love. Many in the New Testament put their hope in Jesus Christ because of the reports of his many healings of the sick. Once, a woman put her trust in Jesus because she suffered from bleeding for twelve years. No one could heal her, so when many people were crowded around Jesus, she went up behind him in the crowd, and touched the edge of his cloak. She was instantly healed. That had been her hope that if she could just touch his clothes she would be healed.

Jesus proved that there is a complete and certain hope of life after death through his resurrection from the dead. This truth springs eternal in the hearts of Christians. Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”  It’s our greatest hope.

  

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Raymond Maher
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