Hope is NOT Lost

At this historic time in our country, many are struggling so much that they have lost hope. It is easy to understand how one could lose hope in a future for their family, in the future of their city, in the future of this country. So much is going on that it is a perfect storm of illness, death, destruction, divide, anger, apathy, greed, superiority, and lack of faith in humanity. Yet, in the middle of this hurricane of life there is still hope. 

If you look for darkness and death you will find darkness and death, but if you look for light and life you will find light and life. The stories of hope are out there, you just have to find them. Why aren’t they the first stories on a feed? Simply, stories of hope don’t get the most hits. Most people like to read about darkness and death to either feed their need to believe all is lost or to make them feel better about themselves. If we are to grow as individuals and as the human race, we must start to look for hope to shine light in every dark corner. We must rise up and start sharing hope!

So, what can you do to find hope? One thing you can do is to start the day with a positive attitude. Determine that this day is going to be a good day and find one thing that will make it a good day. For instance, I am thankful to have a supportive husband, and it is a good day because I get to watch him read and study his Bible. No matter what else happens today, my heart has this joyful moment. It could be a good day for you that you are up, showered, dressed, and did your hair. It could be a good day for you because you just walked 8 miles or ran your first 5K. What is your one thing that will make this a good day for you?

How do you spread hope? Find something that isn’t political, one-sided, or racially charged to share on your most used social media platform. For instance, a story about how young children started a lemonade stand to help children effected by a natural disaster or a story about how a family pet that was lost because of a natural disaster was reunited with its family. Hope can be found in the middle of a pandemic. One example is when a restaurant had to shut down and its freezer and cooler started to fail, the manager shared all the food with his employees and his neighborhood. This act of kindness helped many who had lost their jobs. On my Instagram feed and Facebook Page I share a Bible verse each day. Hope can be found in the simplest of things. How will you share hope today?

When I say that hope is not lost, I speak from experience. Every time something has happened to me I have chosen to look to the bright side, not that I didn’t have dark moments it was just I didn’t want to live in the dark. I chose to live in the light. To see each day for a new chance for hope. Erin O’Donnell said in a song, “Every day begins and ends with hope.” I hold this thought in my heart each day. There is hope of what will be and hope in what has happened during the day. I have hope that this country’s differences can be worked out and real change can happen. I have hope that more will lead with love and not anger. 

Hope is an attitude. You have control over your attitudes and how you react to situations. You can see doom and gloom or you can see light and hope. The choice is yours. 

“Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.”     Elie Wiesel

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”       Michelle Obama

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”     Desmond Tutu

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”     Emily Dickinson

“I’m telling you there is hope. I have seen it, but it does not come from the governments or corporations. It comes from the people.”     Greta Thunburg

“Be hopeful. Be optimistic. Never lose that sense of hope.”     John Lewis

“Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.”      Desmond Tutu


What Trinity are You Worshipping?

During this pandemic, our church started doing daily devotions using Facebook Live. Each day, one of our church leaders would discuss various topics of the Bible to give inspiration, hope, and sometimes a reality check. One morning during a church leader’s discussion of scripture, she asked, “What Trinity are you worshipping?” This question really got me thinking about the different “trinities” people identify with and are at the forefront of their minds. 

If you were raised in a liturgical church and was asked about the Trinity, your mind most likely goes straight to “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” – God in three parts. Christ is the Son of God (“This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” Matt. 17:5) and it is through a relationship with Christ that we are able to have a relationship with the Father. (Christ said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6) When Christ talked to the disciples about his ascension to heaven He said, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26. Simply put, the Holy Spirit will guide us to follow the ways of Christ, which leads to a relationship with Christ, which will lead us to a relationship with God the Father. This is the Holy Trinity at work.* 

If you were raised in the South, being asked about the “trinity” your mind might think of cooking. The “holy trinity” of cooking is onion, celery, and carrots or onion, celery, and green peppers – the bases of many southern dishes, including gumbo, jambalaya, and etouffees. These basic vegetables create a flavorful base when they are equal in parts and cooked together.  When we think about the Holy Trinity, and how the three work together in our lives, we can understand where calling the base of many dishes the “holy trinity” developed. (There are many other tasty dishes that include these basic vegetable combinations, such as many soups and stews, that are not traditional southern dishes.)  

The world would like us to worship another “trinity” – Me, Myself, and I. This is not the “Holy Trinity” or a “holy trinity.” This worldly trinity is one that will create death in our souls. When we strive to put ourselves first and above others, we are going against everything that Jesus did and taught us. Christ said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34. The world wants us to buy into the philosophy that our needs, wants, and desires should be our focus. We are to do whatever it takes to have the “best” of everything, even if it means hurting others. The world tells us that only our happiness matters, it’s our money and we can do with it what we want, and telling a lie doesn’t matter if it gets me what I want. 

While putting others before yourself brings rewards, it is hard and can be overwhelming at times. If it was easy to put others first, more people would live their lives differently. I choose to worship the Holy Trinity. I choose to put others before myself. I choose to do what I can to make a difference in this world. I choose to follow the ways of Christ and let the Holy Spirit guide me, so I can have a relationship with my Heavenly Father. 

My question to you is: What “trinity” are you worshiping and how will you choose to live your life?

If you are looking for ways to give back to your community, here are some great organizations to check out: local Boys & Girls Club, Operation Backyard, and if you are in Knoxville – Emerald Youth Foundation, Street Hope, and The Restoration House. 

*This is a basic explanation of the Holy Trinity. If you would like a deeper understanding of the Holy Trinity, I encourage you to talk to your religious leader or research yourself. There are many scholarly books on the topic.