Hope for a Future

I would be lying to you if I said that this season of quarantine and self-isolation had been easy for me. I am the textbook definition of an extravert to a “T”, and anyone who knows me can attest that I would fill my day with meeting as many people as possible if I could. I understand and validate the importance of alone time, but I prefer being with people. Physical touch and quality time are my top love languages. Covid-19 has made it hard to have either of those two; especially the former. Having my structure taken away has been difficult to say the least. I love accomplishing tasks and being able to be productive. Covid took away any definition I had of what productivity looked like. It has been an unprecedented time, and the standards by which I once judged myself by where null and void.

I wanted to give you context for where I have been during this quarantine time, so you all can have a full perspective of what I mean when I talk about hope. Finding hope every day has been a struggle. When everything around you is telling you this situation, this year, sucks, it takes the Holy Spirit to be defiant and say “hope never disappoints.” Life has been crazy and each day, I found myself looking for what normal would be that day. All of that to say, God still moved. In fact, I would argue that God did more digging up lies and cracks in my foundation than I had experienced in the past year. God does not stop moving and speaking because of a global pandemic. He uses all things for the good of those who love him. I listened to a podcast pretty early into quarantine by a pastor named John Mark Comer who oversees a church in Oregon. He spoke of this quarantine time as a “forced wilderness for our country.” Let’s unpack that.

As some of you may know, the Israelites, God’s chosen people, entered a season of wandering in the desert before they entered the promised land. The Israelites had just seen God perform these radical displays of power to turn Pharaoh's heart to letting them leave Egypt. Not only had God sent the 10 plagues but God had parted the Red Sea so they could evade the Egyptian soldiers. They came to the Promised Land and sent spies into the land to scout it. All the spies gave a false report of the land, urging the people not to go into it except one, Caleb.

“But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” - Numbers 13:30

Caleb knew that God was with them. He trusted the one that called them. He had a faith that was deeply rooted in the love that he knew of the God that he served, not in his circumstance. The lack of faith and false report angered God so much that he instructed the Israelites to wander in the wilderness until a new generation had come about. None of the older generation that did not believe would see them into the promised land would enter into it. Caleb, though, he had a different spirit, and he would enter into the Promised Land once again. What made Caleb different? What did he have that the rest of Israel lacked? Why was he special?

He believed God was greater than what stood in front of him. Caleb had a hopeful perspective that the God that lead them out of Egypt would lead them into the Promised Land. He looked at the space between what was his reality and his destiny as space for God to fill in the gaps. Caleb believed and he chose hope.

The wilderness is not easy. It is refining, it takes everything inside of you that isn’t of God and it highlights it. When you’re in the wilderness, there isn’t anything to hide behind. It is you and God, there is no busy work to distract yourself with anymore. It can be one of the hardest seasons, but it is, also, when God chooses to draw close to his people. Notice even in the history of the Israelites, God never abandoned his people. His positioning to them never changed. God is closer than ever and it is only through the Holy Spirit that we are able to have the grace to find hope for today. If you have to ask God every day to show you how to have hope today, he will come through, because his mercies are new every morning. He is right here, He is drawing you in. Whether you have been close with him or you have been wandering, He has been alongside you the entire time.

I want to encourage you with this thought: God is for you, and He is a kind father. Jesus is the hope of glory, and the same spirit that was inside of him is inside of you. You are not alone in this world, even in the depths of your mess. The Holy Spirit is the comforter; that is one of the Holy Spirit’s main jobs. When the pain and loneliness of this season starts to sink in deep, invite God there. Chances are He’s already there, waiting to take your hand. Let him speak his kindness into the depths.

Author | Cristina Rosiles

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