We were saved to have this hope. If we can see what we are waiting for, that is not really hope. People don’t hope for something they already have. But we are hoping for something we don’t have yet, and we are waiting for it patiently.

Romans 8:24-25 (ERV)

I was reading a devotion and a quote resonated with me, “Hope is a verb.” Yes! I started choosing a word for the year back in 2013 when life was really tough around here. Mark was suffering from deep depression and I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t make it better and often seemed to make it worse. In desperation, I read about choosing a word to focus on for the year and I chose “hope.”

I bought books, plaques for the wall, read blogs…anything I could get my hands on. I needed that reminder that I was not alone and that God had my back.

I remember one incident that happened during a counseling session. My counselor asked me if I had any hope left. Mark piped up with, “Oh that’s her word for the year.” I had to have hope for both of us.

We have now struggled through a year of the COVID pandemic. I look back to last March when officials said we needed to lock down for two weeks to get it under control. I figured I could do anything for two weeks. But it didn’t end and we are still under restrictions that we all dislike but seem like they are here to stay forever. This is where hope is a verb.

Sitting around doing nothing, waiting impatiently for it to end will send you into that slough of despond. Hope means you take a walk with you phone and snap pictures along the way of the newly blooming flowers. (I did this last year on a really bad day.) It means making phone calls to friends that are distant in location but near in your heart. How about making cookies and dropping a few of them off to neighbors?

The differences between being an extravert or an introvert are really exaggerated during this time. Mark has handled it much better than I have. I miss my people. I miss any people. I will walk around Target or Walmart just to feel the buzz of other human beings (masked, of course.)

Hope is more tangible now that the vaccine is out and millions are receiving their jab. We can hardly wait for the mask mandate signs to be removed from doors and windows. We want to travel and be with family, give hugs, sit next to each other in church.

However, the verb part of hope may also be in giving up our anger for all that we have had to go through and letting forgiveness wash over our hearts and minds. Without the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we will lose our hope to bitterness. He knows what we need even before we do and will be our friend and teacher. We just need to listen to His voice.

I encourage you today to remember that hope is a verb. Wait with patience but be active in ways that bring you healing and love.