Hope Story by @deenamadams
Hunting for Hope in Our Present is the fifth of seven in a series of posts that feature a condensed written version of the Facebook Live seven-day Hope Hunt I recorded in May.
If you prefer the more in depth video version, you can find it here.
Since the beginning of March, the Coronavirus has dominated the news and our social media feeds. For a while, we had daily updates from the president, governors, and other leaders.
Over six months later, we still witness the continuing effects of this horrible virus. The fallout has been monumental.
And it’s not over.
The pandemic has affected everyone on earth, although at different levels. I’ve heard reports of increased instances of domestic violence, child abuse, addictions, depression, suicide, and more. Fear and anxiety are off the charts, exacerbated by widespread unrest and division.
My heart has hurt so much this year over the thousands who’ve died. Not only from the virus, but from violence in city streets and other horrific events. Devastating.
I don’t believe we’ve been as uncertain and concerned over the future of our nation, or our own future as individuals and families, in our lifetime.
I’m sure we all have stories we could share about the crushing effects in our own lives or in the lives of those we know.
Our world is a mess.
So, where is the hope in all this madness? How can we wade through the pain, frustration, loss, anger, and discouragement?
My answer is always Jesus. If we don’t fix our eyes on Him rather than the turmoil around us, we’ll drown.
I’m reminded of the story in Matthew 14:22-31 where the disciples were out on the sea during a storm. This scene is right after Jesus had fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. Take a minute to look up the passage and read it.
One aspect I love about this account is Peter jumping over the side of the boat thinking he could stroll on water like Jesus.
I mean, what human besides Jesus has the ability to walk on water?
Apparently, Peter. Because the scripture says Peter jumped in the water and walked toward Jesus!
Wow. Miraculous, right? But when he took his eyes off Jesus—the One who gave Him the power to walk across the water—and glanced around at his frightening circumstances, he sank.
Friends, amid our current storm, we must have our eyes on Jesus and not our unsettling circumstances. That’s where we’ll find our hope.
Where is Jesus?
Obviously, we won’t see Jesus stand before us in the flesh. Nor will we audibly hear Him say to step out of the boat and parade across the water. But you know what?
Jesus shows up in humans.
All around us, Jesus has shown up during this unprecedented time in history. He’s shown up in doctors and nurses caring for infected patients, first responders sacrificing their own personal safety, amateur seamstresses sewing masks to give away, teachers instructing students online, kids coloring sidewalk chalk art to cheer nursing home residents.
Jesus has appeared through ministries and organizations sending emails offering helpful advice. I’ve glimpsed Him in blog posts, podcasts, free webinars and trainings. Music artists providing free virtual concerts. Pastors streaming online services so they could minister to their flock. And even in people sharing funny and encouraging memes to lift our spirits during a hard season.
It’s up to us whether we fix our eyes on Jesus and walk on water during this crazy time, or we set our sights on the surrounding turmoil and flounder.
It boils down to perspective.
When we have a big God, our problems shrink. When we have a small God, they inflate. And I believe we have a tremendous God, don’t you?
So, let’s keep our focus on Jesus and notice His touch through the individuals He puts in our path so we’ll thrive in this storm with faith and hope.
If you missed the pandemic-related post by Janine Rosche, Finding Funny in the Hard Times, check it out here.
Join the Conversation. Where have you experienced Jesus during the craziness? Go on a hunt for hope in our present and share a link in the comments to an article, blog, website, Facebook group, ministry, business, or whatever God leads you to that points to hope in Christ.