Perhaps like me, you started 2020 not quite realising how much you were going to need Hope.
Hope is something that we all need; more often than not, and when we least expect. 2020, I believe, has been a year filled with Hope.
As we near the end of this year, we are fully in the season of Advent; a season filled with expectation and the coming of Christ. We have news of expectant vaccines in the fight to gain the upper hand against Covid-19.
For my wife and I, the start of 2020 brought hope of the birth of our first grandson George who was due in February. This event filled us with hope and a deep sense of expectation; that as grandparents we would have hours of fun, if not whole days that we could spend with George. Little did we know that we would not see him for several weeks, due to the Covid restrictions and the need to protect him and his mum from possible infection.
As the year has passed, George is now nearing 10 months old, has a tooth and is beginning to pull himself to his feet. We realise that we have spent very little time with him, compared to our original expectations.
Our needs as new grandparents; our hopes of spending lots of time with him have been replaced with a Hope for him and his family's wellbeing.
2020 has brought much restriction; pain and discomfort to so many. Now we still hope that our future will be filled with fun times with our grandson. However, even more than that, the hope that fills the airwaves with talk of vaccines and less restrictions, can now be rooted in reality and not falsely produced or simply based on our own wants and needs.
Hope as a fruit of the spirit, is not to be falsely produced, we are encouraged to bear this fruit. Just as an apple tree bears an apple, we are called to bear the fruit of the spirit. Apples don’t suddenly appear; its a process, a journey.
One might assume we begin a journey of hope, when we begin to expect with confidence and cherish a desire with anticipation. If we stop and consider for a moment that journey. Our experience tells us that the beginning of hope’s journey is more often the result, just the opposite.
For example, restriction lends its hand to a hope for freedom; pain for relief, or discomfort for comfort. Hope enables us to move on in our journey; from the negative to the positive and onwards toward a blessed, confident anticipation of the future.