Hope will always be intertwined with wait.
It is impossible to hope without waiting–when the wait is over, the time for hope will be past us. We cannot have hope without the wait, but unfortunately many of us wait without hope.
Hope’s partnership with waiting is problematic for us. I doubt that there has ever been a culture in the history of humanity that is worse at waiting than ours. I’m annoyed when my computer takes longer than 30 seconds to wake up and get online. Seeing someone with 15 items in the express lane freezes out my Christmas goodwill. National credit card debt indicates that Joe and Jane USA prefer the product to the wait.
We view the wait as an epidemic to be cured rather than a discipline to be cultivated. Until we tend to our garden of the wait, we will never see the fruit of hope.
Hope is more than a perspective, more than a verb, more than a choice, more than an ability. Hope is a lifestyle.
Hope is an art.
When the people I love use tearing, painful words like, “I was raped,” hope guides my heart: Come quickly, Lord Jesus. When I hear “I only feel good when i hurt myself;” when the report is final, “He died early this morning;” when through tears she says, “Our marriage is over;” when the birth ends in death, when our children’s future is locked a cell for 10-20 years, hope guides me to one, central refrain: “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”
When I’m dancing with my daughter, her laughter as much in her eyes as it is in her voice, hope guides my heart: Come quickly, Lord Jesus. When I catch my wife’s eyes, and our love makes the grey world bright with vibrant color; when my boy ends each day with, “Daddy, I love you and I like you;” when our friends are all around, when our beds are warm and our futures are bright, hope guides me to one, central refrain: “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”
To say we hope is to say we will wait. But hope is better sung than said, as a man infinitely wiser than me once put it, “to sing once is to pray twice.”
Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Until then, I will wait.