Oh, our Corona summer.
It’s been a strange few months. But overall, it’s really just been a strange year. I doubt any of us could have predicted the predicament we’d find ourselves in when 2020 rolled around. It seems like, by obligation, a new decade should usher in hope and newness instead of a cascading series of unfortunate events.
Yet, back during quarantine, my world was held together by the walls of my 950-square-foot little lake house. Luna became by best buddy as we hunkered down together on the couch, under mounds of blankets and mugs of coffee. And while the world outside was spinning, failing, falling, I worked so hard to make sure my heart did not. That my mind did not. That my hope did not.
It wasn’t necessarily easy.
There are so many little letdowns along the road to happiness and hope.
But circumstances don’t dictate hope, I whisper softly at daybreak. Every morning. My sweet Luna often greets me with the sun, reminding me that I’m never alone and always loved. There is so much I still yearn for, hope for, want. This pandemic has not brought forth new desires from my heart as much as it has amplified the ones that were already there. Many, of which, are currently unreachable.
But I’m clinging to gritty hope.
And I’m learning so much about faith.
This season is teaching me that faith is relying on God moment by moment, day by day, breath by breath. I recall a concept an old friend spoke about, years ago: you must preach the gospel to yourself every morning. Every morning is new. You must wake up each day and still choose faith.
With so many questions whirling around in my mind unanswered, I’m beginning to appreciate the God who so often only reveals answers for today; who gives us bread for today; faith for today. Do not worry about tomorrow, Jesus exhorts, for tomorrow will worry about itself.1 Today is the only time we can seek out God and find him, for it’s the only time we even truly have. So why wouldn’t he call us to live for today, with no fear at all for tomorrow?
And I’m learning that’s what faith is. Having hope in the unseen.2
There are moments in history when God revealed his sweeping plans for humanity in one flashing moment— through visions, prophesies, or promises. But for the most part, I have found him to speak more quietly. He reveals himself to me in his word, in others, and in the good works that come as I take slow and hesitant, but deliberate, steps towards people, opportunities, or ideas. It’s a day by day faith, where the ending is not assured, but the posture is one of trust. Of learning to trust, I should say.
It’s almost like God pulls back his hand of reassurance to teach us how to make decisions not borne out of obligation or of knowing, but out of wisdom and of faith. He doesn’t always light up the sky or guarantee a certain ending, because he would rather us learn to trust. He would rather us grow up to be wise and mature.
Having faith in God— knowing and trusting that he will come through with his promises, despite everything we might see— is so much deeper than just hoping in a particular outcome he might bring about or call forth. It’s different than trusting in mere circumstances, alone. Even if it’s trusting in those same circumstances to be brought about by him. No, faith in God is distinct and set apart. I’m learning it means having hope in God alone. And that it’s also easier said than done.
It’s easy for other hopes to weave themselves in and masquerade around as something they’re not. But, rest assured. All other hopes are built upon this one hope: that God is who he says he is, and that he is the truest, most ultimate good. Hope in God’s character predicates all other hopes. (Amen!)
The Psalmist says, Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.3
I hope and pray to do the same. ♡
1 Matthew 6:34
2 Hebrews 11:1
3 Psalm 143:8