The Gift of Hope

“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.”
—Edward Mote

As we approach the third week of Advent, we give thanks for the gift of hope in our lives. This year has been particularly challenging, as my husband and I have journeyed through cancer treatment, in which more questions have been raised than have been answered. He has been receiving chemotherapy treatments for months now, and we have yet to have the PET scan that will tell us whether or not they are working.

At the first diagnosis of cancer, we were anxious about what lay ahead for us. Selfishly, we thought, “Why us? We have followed the rules for healthy living and it just doesn’t seem fair.” As the months wore on, however, we have listened to many stories from cancer patients. We are amazed at how courageous they are, and the main attribute that characterizes most of them is hope. They show up weekly or even daily to be infused with unknown poisons that hopefully are shrinking the cancer within their bodies. They laugh and joke with the nurses and share their plans for the rest of the day.

We have learned that cancer treatment is usually not a short-term process.. One gentleman informed us he had been in treatment for three years, and we didn’t detect a note of discouragement.

In biblical history there are many examples of people living with hope. Think of the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, knowing that the Promised Land was waiting for them. All those in the Old Testament were waiting for generations for the Messiah. Our limited vision of hope pales by comparison.

Christmas is coming. Let us set aside our anxiety about ill health and the woes of our broken world. Help us never to give up hope! Christ is coming in the midst of darkness. Hope is a blessing and a gift from God.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Gayle Hooper