A few underdeveloped thoughts on hope...

Everybody keeps talking about waiting. Remember how we used to wait for Christmas? All childlike and giddy?

The kind of waiting that was not yet tempered by patience nor tempted by doubt.

That waiting was fun. It was anticipation without anxiety. It was excitement that did not yet brace itself for disappointment. It was looking forward before it was laced with the tender loss of looking back.

When did the waiting lose its wonder?

Perhaps when the wondering gave way to the worrying. Perhaps when the wonder of when shifted to the wonder of if. Perhaps when the eyes that blinked amazement first blinked back tears of disillusionment. And maybe it was small at first, but it broke something inside of us that never quite recovered.

And we keep thinking we will find our hope fulfilled again in the very places that broke us.

And we keep wishing for unbroken wonder.

But maybe hope is the wait that’s regained its wonder. Maybe hope is what remains of that childlike anticipation after it has fought its way through disappointment. Maybe hope is what survives when the waiting lasts a moment longer than mere wishing can sustain.

Hope is wiser for the waiting.

Hope is made surer by the sifting and the shifting.

Hope looks up with hard-earned wonder.

Hope has learned that the ache of waiting is strangely right—like maybe it’s evidence of joy that has survived the battle.

Hope rests secure in the tension of joy and sorrow, fulfillment and longing, waiting and receiving.

Hope hears, in the raspy cries of a Newborn in a manger, the bold declaration of God With Us.

Hope clings stubborn to what looks unlikely because hope has set its face toward the One who came in the most unlikely of ways.

Hope opens our eyes to wonder again this Christmas as Hope Himself kicks His tiny foot out of the swaddling clothes that tried to bind Him.

A Squirming Savior. God Made Man. Immortal Hope Robed In Human Flesh.

We wait for a million different things. We hope in just the One.