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Wednesday Wondering - June 19, 2024


Isaiah 40: 31

31    but those who hope in the LORD shall renew their strength,

    they shall mount up with wings like eagles,

    they shall run and not be weary,

    they shall walk and not faint.


I have been wondering about hope in our world today. I think that it is a rare and challenging commodity these days. What gives us hope? What might we actually hope for, or in? What does it actually mean for us to hope? I sometimes wonder about some or all of these questions. Our world seems to be so harsh and it appears as if so many don’t have hope.

The verse from Isaiah is an interesting verse of scripture because in one translation it is written as I posted, “but those who hope in the Lord” while another translation has this verse written, “but those who wait for the Lord.” To hope in the Lord, or to wait for the Lord, are these the same things? In some ways author Lemony Snicket actually pulls these two concepts together when they wrote, “Strange as it may seem I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.” In this quote, from Lemony Snicket, we see that it could be hope which we wait for in our lives.  As I asked previously, what does it mean to hope for something? What is it that we hope for in our lives today? In some ways to hope for something is really to wait on that something and this is a very difficult place for many of us in today’s world. To hope is to know that that which we hope for has not yet come and we wait for it to arrive in our lives. For someone like me that is a challenge, to wait, to not really know when that which is hoped for, that thing which we are waiting for will ever come to us. I like to know when things are going to happen and living in the midst of the unknown can be challenging and can be a difficult place to live, yet in many ways that is what we are called to do.

We place our hope in God, and in doing so we know that we are challenged to wait for the coming of God to our world today, but it is not just a passive action of waiting, it is a challenge for us to live into that hope. We often understand that this concept of waiting is something that we passively do in our lives. We might sit and wait for a bus, or for a ride to arrive. We might wait for the mail or for a package to be delivered. It all sounds very sedentary to us. But what if the idea of hope and waiting have an active component that we might not have considered.

I wonder if this idea of waiting can become an action that one takes and it becomes a process whereby one waited for something, or hoped for something, by living as if that hope has been realized. I know it sounds challenging, but this reading from Isaiah speaks to me deeply of this idea. We are to hope in the coming of God’s world, of God’s presence in our lives, and yet how do we actually do that? If we look at this same passage from the other translation we might say that we are to wait for the coming of God’s world, we are to wait on God’s presence in our lives. So, I wonder if we are called to live as if that hope has already been realized, and when we do, we find that this hope in God’s presence can and does lift us up. We find that in the midst of that hope for God, that waiting for God, we might just actually find the presence of God, that presence that sustains us when things are challenging. That presence of God that comforts us in our sorrow. That presence of God that has and continues to journey with us in times of joy and times of sorrow. It is in the hoping, the waiting, that we might actually find that which we hope and wait for in our lives.


God of Hope, we come before you today knowing that sometimes waiting is not something that we do well. Help us to see that in waiting for you, we enter into a place of hope and in that place we might just find you. Help us to open our hearts, our souls, and our minds to your coming into our lives and the world. Help us to be present in this day and in waiting and hoping for you, feel you coming towards us in those small ways that we sometimes miss. We ask this through Jesus, God with us. Amen.

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