Estimated reading time: 4 minutes:-)
Is anyone else afraid that school will shut down again?
Whether your school is going completely online, half way, or is in person fully, I’m pretty sure nobody likes Zoom.
Actually, this week, a lot of my teachers asked us what our biggest fears about this year were. Almost everyone said they were afraid of shutting down again. It doesn’t take much. One case of Covid 19, and half the school is sent home. Two, and we’re completely shut down again. That’s terrifying.
For months, since the shutdown in March, we’ve had disappointment after disappointment after disappointment. And I know we’re past these things, but it really sucked. My entire soccer season was cancelled the day of our first game. Youth group was cancelled and church was cancelled. There is something about worshiping alone in my bedroom through a screen that just doesn’t feel right. Winter retreat was cancelled, school was cancelled, I couldn’t see my friends graduate. My job was put on hold for a little while. Even my book’s publication month was pushed back.
But the disappointments have almost become normal, now. I expect plans to fall through. I expect people to cancel last minute. I expect to be let down over and over again. And I know I’m not alone.
I know a lot of us refuse to get our hopes up again because it hurts so bad to be disappointed. That’s how I feel right now. I’m terrified school will shut down again, but I almost brace for impact each day. Each day, a new day that someone could report a case, and my senior year could end. Each day, a new threat to my plans, a new opportunity for disaster.
But I forget too often that we are allowed to have hope.
Proverbs 23:18 says, “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
It is okay to hope for better things. It is okay to hope for the unlikely, the miracles, the blessings.
And we can always rest assured in the hope of heaven.
Romans 5:5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which was given to us.”
Hope does not disappoint! Did you hear that? Bad things happen in this world, life disappoints and you are let down every day. But the hope itself you have for a future in Christ does not disappoint. And it never will.
God calls us in Romans 12:12 to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
I’ve caught myself too many times with a frown on my face, whining to my friends and saying, “I hope this test is easy,” or “I hope she doesn’t give us too much homework,” in such a dismal tone, you’d think I was at a funeral. That is not hope. Hope is not motivated out of fear or anxiety. Hope for things to not go wrong, while subtly believing they will is not called hope. That is called worry.
True hope is motivated out of joy. Out of love. The hope we have in Christ is a confident expectation in his faithfulness. There is no doubt in this confidence.
Now, it’s impossible to be completely certain that we won’t be sent home from school again. And this is not what we are called to.
But we are called to hope in Christ, who is sure, who is certain, who never disappoints. God will be good in these trials. We can have joy even here, even now (James 1:2).
I’m still nervous about this year. But I HOPE that God’s mission moves forward. I HOPE that God will be good even if we do shut down. And I HOPE that there will be joy in the future, whatever that looks like.
I’ll leave you guys with a few lyrics from one of my favorite songs by Tenth Avenue North, “I Have This Hope.” Read them out loud, if you can! Let the truth sink into you that God is in always control.
“As I walk this great unknown
Questions come and questions go
Was there purpose for the pain?
Did I cry these tears in vain?
I don’t want to live in fear
I want to trust that You are near
Trust Your grace can be seen
In both triumph and tragedy
I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go.”