Friday, June 23, 2017

HOPE: A Devotional by author Gail Kittleson


by Gail Kittleson

Hope - from Pixabay

            “You alone are my hope...” Jeremiah uses the Hebrew word qawa, similar to the word for trust. (Jeremiah 17:17 NLT)

            Hope means to trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.

In Spanish, the verb esparar means both to hope and to wait. We wait for spring because we trust that winter will fade. Warmer winds will blow, as they do every year. We count on it.

Male Northern Cardinal - Pixabay
We also await answers to our prayers for wholeness and increased faith. If we see God as faithful, caring, and powerful, hope comes a lot easier. On the other hand, our woundedness can hinder trust.

My World War II characters experience this truth. Sometimes it’s difficult for Addie to believe things will ever change in her marriage. In the sequel, the merciless Waffen SS atrocities in Southern France overwhelm Addie’s best friend Kate.

But for these heroines, hope shines in the midst of struggle. They both must wait to see the end for which they long. Thus, there’s plenty of room for hope to affect their attitudes and individual growth.

Twenty-seven times, the Greek Old Testament translates qawa as hupomeno, "to wait, to be patient, to endure.” In the presence of suffering, this term implies patience in bearing affliction while hopefully awaiting deliverance. If I tried for hours, I couldn’t better express the attitude my characters exhibit in their struggles.

I hope readers find encouragement for their own difficulties through embracing Addie and Kate’s stories. This is what happens with us as we follow Biblical characters facing hard times.

For all of us, things look bleak at times—that’s when hope flutters in and encourages us.            

Hummingbird from Pixabay

       Emily Dickinson obviously knew hope intimately:

      “Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

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