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Lessons I Learned on Hope

I heard about this experiment once, where two groups of people were asked to submerge their hands into ice water. One group was given an end time. They knew they needed to last for 5 minutes. The other group was not given any time – just hold on as long as you can.

Any guesses which group lasted the longest? You’d be right if you thought it might be the group given the amount of time they had to persevere. Not a single one lasted even close to 5 minutes from the other group.

This was an experiment on hope.

You see, when we are going through something uncomfortable, unenjoyable…even painful, we can make it through with the help of hope – that, “this too shall pass” and we know when that finish line is. When we are walking through darkness, we can keep going when there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

You guys, I’ve been feeling a little hopeless lately. There doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of this tunnel called Covid-19. My kids keep asking when they can hang out with their friends, go out for pizza…even go back to school, and my answer is always the same three words: I don’t know. And then, last night I saw it. I should have never looked and investigated (and these posts should be banned!), but I did. It was a post on Facebook claiming that according to all the news and research out there, this could be YEARS long. Yes, up to TWO YEARS (I am choosing not to believe this, BTW). I’m not even sure if I can do this another two weeks. It all feels so hopeless.

I haven’t been sleeping well. My mind keeps racing and I can’t shut it off. So, this morning, I began to journal and pray, asking God to send some hope. And you know what He told me? He said, “I already did.”

Jesus has already come for us, folks. He is our light at the end of this tunnel. And, better than that – He is going with us through the tunnel. We have hope, because we have Jesus. Suddenly, I pictured that image I so often have seen, especially surrounding Easter, of Jesus’ tomb, cracked open, with a ray of light shining through. Jesus is our ray of light. He conquered the grave, and He can conquer this. He is the hope we have in a hopeless world.

My husband reminded me the other day – when there are lots of unknowns, we cling to what we do know – we know that God tells us the truth (and not to take news outlets and FB posts as gospel truth), and that He keeps his promises. The files in my mind immediately brought me to this promise:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

And so, I can hold on. I’ll let Him hold my hand and warm it with His touch, during this dark, icy season. I will believe that if He can breathe life back into Himself, He can breath life into me and into this world.

So, Jesus, we need you. We always have – maybe we’re just realizing it a bit more now. Come be our hope in a seemingly hopeless time. Help us run and not grow weary, help us walk and not be faint. Lead us towards you – you are the light at the end of this tunnel, and in the midst of it.

“Those who hope in The Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run an not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” -Isaiah 40:31

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