When I was a child I used to love reading Greek mythology. One of the stories that stuck with me the most was the story of a young girl named Pandora who wanted to open a box that no one was supposed to open. It was tied shut so she could not even look inside. Finally curiosity got the best of her and she opened the box and out came all the evils and sadness of the world. Prior to that the world had been perfect and there were no problems. In the bottom of the box after all the demons had been released out into the world there was an angel that came out at the end. Her name was “hope” and as the story goes…hope is still alive in the world today helping people to cope with evil.
The Bible teaches us in a better way that God is our hope in times of trouble. Psalm 62 says “I depend on God alone, I put my hope in God.” God is with us no matter what happens in life. I read a story about a man who climbed Mt. Everest. After his great expedition he was in a serious car accident and became paralyzed. He likened the accident and the recovery from it as “climbing Mt. Everest within” himself. He said that God was with him through it all and the strength of God gave him hope to move on. Today he teaches mountain climbing and is an encouragement to many people in rehabilitation centers.
God is love and the power of love can overcome any and all obstacles in this life. It is love like the power of Niagara Falls constantly streaming into this world and into our lives.
When we have the hope of God in our life it can be contagious. You can’t keep it to yourself.
I was a student pastor at a church in Indiana years ago with a serious structural problem in the basement. There were very few members. It looked like the church was going to have to close. The district superintendent came and everyone was sad. One man said he was going to see what he could do in the basement…just give it one more try. He started digging around and engaged some of the other church men…they found a contractor. …the contractor found some friends. This project became a community passion. New people joined the church, the basement was completely renovated and this little church that was supposed to close is still alive and well today!
Where can you throw some contagious hope in this world? Sometimes a little hope can turn the world upside down. Put your hope in God. As Paul says in Romans “hope does not disappoint us.”
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson