What comes to mind when you hear the word hope? Expectation? Excitement? Dreams? Anticipation? Do you think back to times when you had dreams and plans for your future, expectations and desires of what you hoped you would accomplish? Maybe you’re in that life stage right now where you’re eagerly awaiting a new beginning, a fresh start, a future stretching far ahead of you with no limits. Perhaps you think of a situation that requires hope, something that begs for you to believe toward an outcome that is outside of your realm of ability.
Different stages and situations probably change our thoughts toward what hope actually means. When I was young we had cousins who sometimes come and visit for the weekend. On those Friday nights when I knew they were on their way, I would eagerly wait to see their car coming up the street. I remember staying up later than usual to welcome them, special treats, and listening to conversations about what was going on outside of our tiny town. As I grew up, I looked forward to other pivotal moments: vacations, school dances, graduation, career, marriage, children.
Out of everything, the journey to motherhood held the greatest moments of anticipation. What would it be like to hold my own little one? To dress him up and show him off? As the nine months passed I could hardly contain my excitement! I felt that same expectation through all four of my pregnancies. And then to watch them grow, that has been a whole new feeling of hope. You have dreams for them, excitement rises over who they will become and what they will accomplish.
I often wonder how Mary felt knowing she was giving life to not only her baby, but also the One who would bring hope to the nations. Everyone was waiting for the promised Messiah, anticipating His arrival. He had been promised so long ago, some probably gave up looking for Him. But I wonder how many who were still waiting expected Him to arrive as a baby, without robes and trumpet sounds? How could the salvation of the world come in a package so small? A lot of people overlooked this gift of hope. He first brought excitement to His mother and then to the people who began to recognize who He was. He brought hope into a dark age.
Just as the days were dark into which the Messiah was born, there are also times in our lives when we need hope to shed light in the dark. There are some days when it feels like there is nothing to be hopeful for, like we are living in a day far too dark for any light to reach us at all. It feels like we’re hoping in vain, waiting for something that may never arrive, as those waiting for Jesus must have felt at times.
I’ve never liked the time change in the Fall. It leaves us with far less daylight and it has always made me sad. I struggle when it’s dark at 4:00 in the afternoon and still dark when I’m off to work in the morning. It feels like the darkness that surrounds never ends. Eventually the days grow longer and the darkness is less overwhelming. In the middle of the longest day of the year there is still hope. At some point, the daylight will show up.
- The advent season reminds us that a Saviour came to earth to be the hope of the world. He came to be a light on even the darkest day, to bring anticipation and expectation into any and every situation. To give us a reason to be excited for what’s to come even when it doesn’t look as if anything good ever could.
Christianne is an east coast girl who recently moved to Alberta with her husband and four children. She is a pastors wife and homeschooling Mom who enjoys being a part of a local healing and deliverance ministry as well writing for We Are His Daughters. She looks forward to beginning each day with lots of coffee and being present in each adventure her family faces.