Hope flickers

Change, including positive change, is rarely easy and quick. Yesterday, I happened to look back on all of the previous posts I’ve written and I found it encouraging and helpful to see the variety of emotions and circumstances documented in them. In particular, I sensed a pattern of ongoing change in them. Writing things down is, of course, a well known way to process what we go through. Reviewing the past several months of blog posts showed me that hope flickers here and there. I saw signs of good things gradually happening over time.

I’ve reflected before on the realization that once hope is dimmed or expires altogether, it is very difficult to regain it, for it to burn strongly again. I write that hope flickers because that is how it seems to me — not a strong, steady flame, but at least it is igniting into flame here and there.

A favorite Bible verse talks about this imagery when Jesus appears to two of his disciples and walks with them on their way to Emmaus. After they finally recognize their traveling companion for who he is, they say:

Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Luke 24:32 (KJV)

That is somewhat like what I’m talking about in my own life. Before, everything seemed too much, impossible, and I felt daily despair. Now, not a whole lot has changed for the better in my circumstances, but I somehow feel more hope, that possibly, good things will come. It’s a wonderful thing to realize and to recognize.

Of course, many good things developed over the past several months. I don’t deny that, and I am able to see and I am reminded of the goodness and faithfulness of God through many unexpected acts of kindness and mercy. But in general, most circumstances are not substantially different. What has changed, or is in the process of changing, is my perspective.

With apologies for the navel gazing…

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