"...but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."
~Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)
These two verses came to mind today as I was contemplating the state of our nation. Yesterday, I felt overwhelmingly burdened by the darkness, pain, division, hatred and confusion in my country. The weight of it can be too much to bear sometimes.
Hope seems far off or even dead.
Then, as I was mourning the lost of so many values, solid beliefs and a more civil time in our past, the Scriptures spoke to me. What I hope for is not [yet] seen. The peace, unity, moral integrity, adherence to something greater than ourselves, clarity, healing, love of others and God - these are the things I hope for most, yet do not see.
These passages, however, seem to tell me that THIS is hope. My duty, therefore, is to "wait for it patiently."
Waiting, I believe, does not imply inaction or apathy, rather, it should be a catalyst for me to be the change as far as I am able and to practice those things that I hope to see in our nation. Things such as loving others and God, staying true to my beliefs, seeking unity by looking at where we're similar versus different, and being full of integrity and honor by speaking only truth, blessing, kind and encouraging words to others.
I cannot control others, but I CAN seek to "keep a tight rein" on my own tongue.
One therapy practice which has stuck with me is the idea of "opposite action" and I think this is an excellent tool to use here:
Instead of hate, LOVE.
Instead of lies, TRUTH.
Instead of tearing down, UPLIFTING others.
Instead of labeling and assuming the worst, LISTENING and assuming the BEST.
Instead of believing God is distant/apathetic or dead, daring to find HOPE in His continual (though oftentimes unseen) CARE and gift of LIFE for ALL humanity for ALL time.
So, I ask myself once again, "Is hope dead?"...No :)