For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:24-25
Hope by definition is future oriented. We do not know the future, but we like to think that we can prepare for it. We have hope that the future will bring us what we need or desire. We like to have predictability and control, and if we don’t have that, we get anxious. The antidote to anxiety is control. The more we can control, the better handle on anxiety we feel we have. But, is that true? Well, we never really have control, just the illusion of it.
The results of hope are not seen. Those results lie in the future, and we count on the future being just a little better than what we currently have. People joke about the year 2020, and how this anticipated year has, so far, essentially brought us the misery of Coronavirus and racial strife.
It is not 2020’s “fault”, but we are ready for the hope of next year already. And it is only June. Next year might bring a vaccine for this dreaded COVID-19 pandemic. Next year might bring economic recovery. Next year might bring a return to what we came to see as normal living.
Whatever next year brings, we can HOPE that it is a relief from this year’s pain. The year 2021 will bring its own troubles, but our hope is that it will not be like 2020. It will be better.
The passage from Romans tells us that we must wait for it patiently. Indeed, we are anything but patient. However, we still must live in the present. Savor it for the moments of peace and pleasure that we derive from friends and family, as disrupted as that has been this year.
Be grateful for the blessings that we have right now. Hope for the future is good and helpful, but don’t let the present escape in the longing for the future.
Prayer: Lord, we are impatient people, always hoping for something different. Help us to live in the moment you have created, and be thankful for it.