As we drove along through the empty streets of our downtown, we were talking about how most of life’s events right now aren’t canceled. . . just postponed.
A minute later we saw the big letters someone had assembled in their yard with a lovely sentiment: “Hope isn’t canceled.”
We all smiled and nodded.
Then my 10 year old quipped, “Hope isn’t canceled, just postponed.”
We all laughed, but it did get me thinking.
In many ways, it does feel like hope is postponed right now. The news of the week was heavy, both as a nation, and some other news from some friends of ours that hit even harder. It was a hard, hard week.
Hope has felt a bit like a pipe dream. Something we don’t have the luxury of right now. We can have hope when we see the light at the end of the tunnel. We can have hope when we know that it will turn out okay in the end. But when we’re stuck in the middle, no end in sight, it seems impossible to have hope. Maybe later, but not now.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Proverbs 13:12
It’s not lost on me that this feeling of darkness and oppression is coming at the onset of Holy Week, the most important week of the Christian calendar.
I imagine that’s how Jesus’ followers felt when in one week’s time, He went from being heralded with palm branches and cheers of Hosanna to being arrested, beaten and then crucified.
Then hope went from seemingly postponed to downright canceled.
But was it?
The disciples didn’t have the luxury of having read the end of the story. And honestly, we don’t either. We know God has promised it will work out for our good and His glory. But we don’t know exactly how each chapter will take shape. We don’t know how many chapters will be devoted to our current situation. We don’t know how many chapters stand between the now and the glorious end.
But we do know that hope is possible even in the darkest hour because of the resurrection. That even when it seems it has been postponed, or even canceled, hope never is.
One week from now, we’ll celebrate that Jesus is alive. That Hope is alive. But today, if you’re sitting in the darkness right now, know you’re not alone. May you feel shoulders brushing yours, knowing that there are many of us sitting there, feeling the sadness with you. But may we all know that even in the darkness, there is a candle burning. A small light, but its power cuts through and reminds us that Hope is alive and death is overcome.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13