I remember watching one of those old lunch time soap operas and there was a main character, we’ll call her Lucy, who ended up in the hospital with a horrible disease and a less than promising outlook.
Can you imagine such a thing on a soap opera? After receiving the unwelcome news from her doctor, Lucy’s friend brought a gift. The gift was a small empty bottle with the label “Hope.” The friend told Lucy to take a spoonful of “Hope” every day.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.” In these days of breaking news for every story, a never-ending news cycle and headlines that cry out about doom and gloom, we need hope now more than ever. So, if not in a small empty bottle, where do we find our hope?
I like to hike. I find that when I am out on a hiking trail, the more strenuous the better, my hope to finish the hike flourishes. Reaching out to others in a kind and caring way is important. The hope to make a positive difference in the life of another is always possible.
A friend once told me she found hope reading to a class of second graders at the school where she volunteered. A counselor once shared that there is hope in the present moment. It is not found in trying to relive the past or in getting to far ahead in the future. A friend likes to bake. She finds hope whenever she starts to mix the ingredients for her next culinary creation.
As a pastor, I must tell you that hope is found throughout scripture. My online concordance shows 202 references. Here’s one of them, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer” (Romans 12:12). And yes, I find great hope in the power of prayer. Where are the places and what are the ways you find hope? It seems when we think about it, the sources of hope are endless. It’s our ability to see those sources that’s often limited.
As for that old soap opera, I don’t know whatever became of Lucy, but I’ll never forget the bottle of “Hope.” In fact, I have a small container of it on my bookshelf. I think I’ll take a teaspoon right now.
Editor’s Note: Brady Abel is United Church of Sun City, 11250 N. 107th Ave., pastor.