Hope in Hard Times

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I don’t know where you’re at. I don’t know your circumstances. I don’t know your pain or your suffering, but I do know that you will face them. All people undergo various pains, troubles. Some might seem light and momentary; some are world destroying, so destructive that all the meaningful things you’ve built up around yourself crumble away. There are times when there seems to be no hope.

There are times when there seems to be no hope for the suffering to end, for a better life to begin, for healing to start. Sometimes, it feels like you’ve been thrown into a prison or a dark night of the soul. You can scream and kick, physically, existentially, but no one will heed you or hear you. How is hope maintained in those situations? For some, for the very darkest ones, I don’t have an answer. I only have the sliver of light under the door, or the star beyond all reaching that still is beautiful, still is pure.

On the cross, Jesus was abandoned. Whether you call it the wrath of God or the logic of violence working itself out in a scapegoat mechanism, or the end of a failed revolution, or the beginning of an unconquerable kingdom, it does not change the fact that at the hardest of times, in the very throes of death and separation of all that Jesus believed, he had hope. He had faith and hope, in the power and righteousness of God to vindicate him and his mission. He committed his spirit into the hands of God, trusting in God’s power to bring life out of death, to bring meaning out of meaninglessness, and this is the hope and the power of the resurrection.

Hope. It is only possible in hard times, because of the power of resurrection. We see it in the image of the phoenix, or the unjustly imprisoned being free, or the knowledge that spring is on the horizon. The very notion of horizon hints at it. Beyond the end, there is something. Something bigger, wider, that will reframe all of this. Jesus partook of all of this, all of the suffering and the pain, in order to bring about the power of resurrection. And that is something we can hope in. Even in the hardest of times.

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