Over the Christmas period, the "twelve days of hope" ran on the soulwithaview Facebook and Instagram page. Each morning there was a Bible verse to reflect on and each evening a quote about hope. After many positive responses and someone asking the question, "what's next?" I decided to carry the theme through 2021. On the first Saturday of each month, there will be a blog linked to the "twelve days of hope" Scripture verses. You won't just have to listen to me as I've already lined up three guest writers to take us through the next few months. These blogs will run alongside the "God with us" project.
For now, here are my thoughts on our first Scripture verse.
I'm scared of shouty people on the internet!
There, I've said it!
It's not ideal for someone who feels called to blog writing, and online ministry but them's the breaks!!
I know I'm not the only one, but it leads me to the point where I rarely comment on anything even remotely contentious. In all honesty, it makes me a bit of a coward.
Like many of you, I've spent my week watching interviews with people denying that the global pandemic is real. They've even reached the point of accusing hardworking NHS staff of lying about what they are facing on their daily shifts. I've reflected on the pain of loss for those families saying goodbye to loved ones. I've watched teacher friends doing everything they can to support children while being branded lazy or work-shy. I also watched a group of people charge into the Capitol Building filled with rage and hate. As I looked through the crowds, I spotted a banner with the words, "Jesus Saves."
I felt sick.
My brain couldn't add it up! It still can't!
There's no neat bow!
I don't get it, and I don't think I ever will!
I don't think any of us walked into 2021 expecting it to be all sunshine and roses, but what a start?
It's a week where the promise of God's hope is a lifeline for me.
On the first day of the twelve days of hope, we looked at Psalm 33:22.
Here are the surrounding verses:
We wait in hope for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
In him, our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
As a Christian, I put my hope in God that he will see us through yet another difficult period, and I'm sorry my faith doesn’t provide a perfect answer as to why it's happening in the first place. My lack of response isn't blind faith though; it's faith in a God who has walked through many difficult circumstances with me. I place my hope in God to see us through all this turmoil even if I can’t wrap my head around it.
I may be afraid of shouty internet people, but I'm okay with not having all the answers. I'm okay with placing my hope in God and trusting in his name, even when things feel as dark as they do now. If you're struggling to make sense of it all, then you're not alone. And no, my call to focus on the hope of God, rather than the confusion of our broken world, isn't my attempt to tie things in a neat bow. Far from it! It's an attempt to shift our hearts from a place of worry and concern to a place where we can rejoice, even when things are difficult.