Written by Julie

On April 6, 2021

Twenty-twenty has been hard. Super hard.
Hard like political division, broken relationships, isolation, and obviously, a global pandemic.
This year has felt like the Saturday between Jesus’s death and resurrection. It has felt hopeless. Heavy and dark. Like how the disciples felt because they didn’t know He would rise. Uncomfortable. Long.
We see all the pain around and inside us. Abuse. Suicide. Isolation. Division. Pain. Heavy pain. Dark pain.
We don’t want to sit in the darkness of Jesus’s tomb and not know the outcome. It’s scary. We so often miss the fact that a legitimate part of holiness is hopelessness.
And in that pain, we are free to grieve.
In John 11, Jesus gives Mary and Martha the space to grieve. And He grieves too, even while knowing the outcome. Jesus doesn’t disqualify the now of our emotions even in light of the future. He welcomes our emotions because He Himself is emotional. Our emotions, including our grief, are divine, given to us by God as part of our image-bearing identity of His character.
Jesus grieved for His friends. He wept too.
If Jesus made Himself vulnerable enough to grieve for His friends, can’t we too?
Can we grieve the lonely isolation people have felt this year? The isolation that led some to suicide, some to addictions, and some away from God. Can we grieve the division? The division that has torn at our churches, our communities, and our families. Can we grieve the uncertainty? The uncertainty that made trust difficult, life unstable, and pain inevitable.
It’s been a heavy year. And grieving twenty-twenty isn’t cynicism. It’s recognizing that it’s been hard. It’s forsaking denial in a pursuit of the healing power of grief.
Sitting in the tomb feels heavy. The silence is deafening. It’s scary.
But it’s holy.
The ants in the tomb see, the stone knows, that even in the dark, in the heaviness, in the grief, is a light. Few see it because it’s deeper than a physical light. Even in that darkness there’s a kind of glory.
Because even there, He is.
And even in twenty-twenty He is. And that is hope. Sunday is coming.

[Inspiration for this article taken from A Glorious Dark by AJ Swoboda.]

Evangeline Kaufman, “Grieving 2020”, Calvary Messenger, January 2021

“… He is. And that is hope.”

Even in the dark billows, the pain, the loneliness, the uncertainty–yes, even in death–there is hope. Because He is.

April is the National Month of Hope. Spring and new life and beginnings and rebirth–things that come to mind when I think of April–do bring hope, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (which were commemorated in April this year) do so even more.

And what is hope?


The word “hope” comes from the Latin word “cupio” meaning “to desire or wish well,” but almost two hundred years ago, hope was distinguished from wishing. The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defined hope as “a desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable.” This definition is reinforced by the Old English word for “hope,” hopa, meaning “confidence in the future.” Similarly, the Greek and Hebrew equivalent words for hope mean “confident expectation.”

Elizabeth “Betsy” Clark, “National Month of Hope: Celebrating the Importance of Hope

An archaic definition, according to Oxford Languages, is “a feeling of trust.”

We can desire something good, expecting to obtain it; can have confidence in the future, have confident expectation; can trust. We can have hope.

Not because the future looks bright or our circumstances are wonderful or we believe everything will go great and smoothly (because often the opposite is what’s true).

But because “God is and all is well,” as John Greenleaf Whittier put it.

God is. He is alive, He is in control, He is everything we need and much more, He is faithful and unmovable and trustworthy and powerful and-and everything!

And because He is, all is well. Maybe not according to the world’s opinion or our flesh’s opinion; maybe not in line with our dreams and plans. . . But it is well.

He is. That’s why we hope.

Our hope is in Him, because of Him, through Him.


During the remaining days of National Month of Hope and beyond, make it your mission to be an advocate of hope.
Hope is a powerful force. It can change situations and lives. We have the ability to lend hope and transfer it to others. We can model hope, spread it, and teach it. It’s up to us to become hope bearers, educators, and hope leaders. Together we can begin a much-needed hope revolution. …

Elizabeth “Betsy” Clark, “National Month of Hope: Celebrating the Importance of Hope

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

1 Peter 3:15 (KJV) {underlining added}
		
Julie

Julie

Hi, I'm Julie, a 16 year-old lover of books, music, and Jesus. I'm a sophomore in high school (Abeka Academy), and am starting my second year of violin lessons. I also co-publish a digital magazine called Priceless geared toward teen girls. My desire is to use my words to glorify my Saviour and to encourage you in your walk with God. I'd love to hear from you!

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