When Hope Feels Unsteady

The world around us is shifting sand. I suppose it always has been, but the past four months have revealed its instability in profound ways. Medical advice and predictions regarding COVID-19 change daily. Businesses have closed, never to re-open, while others struggle to adjust their models to new and ever-changing standards. Neighborhoods near my home “make noise” every night at 7 pm in support of and thanks to first responders, while other groups nearby rally to defund the police. Race-relations are precarious, statues are toppled, and perspectives are evolving. Voices on all sides are deafeningly loud. 

It all makes me feel quite unsteady – adrift – and so in my worst moments, I worry. 

I worry that this virus will hold us hostage indefinitely – that restrictions will be in place until there is a vaccine or effective treatment. However, my hope is not in medical science. 

I worry about the struggling small-business owners who are watching their life’s work become threatened and the effect it will have on our city. But my hope is not in a vibrant downtown or a thriving economy. 

I worry that the vital message about the evils of oppression and prejudice are being drowned out by the death and destruction occurring in some protests. But my hope is not in social or political change. 

On a more personal level, I worry about my kids not being able to attend school and activities in the fall. After homeschooling for years, they recently discovered the joy of traditional school and I so want them to continue on. But my hope is not in educational opportunities or a return to normal schedules. 

I worry that long-planned for travels will not occur, and we will lose the chance before my oldest heads for college. But my hope is not in exciting family experiences. Nor is my hope in the fulfillment of my plans and dreams. 

During these past few months, the many things that I am tempted to put my hope in have been stripped away. So where does my hope truly lie? 

An old hymn states it best: 

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus blood and righteousness I dare not trust the sweetest frame But wholly lean on Jesus’ name 

My only hope is in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Because of that, I have everything I need to sustain me in trials and to anchor me when the world around me is in chaos. I have hope that circumstance cannot take from me. 

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. Hebrews 6:19-20 

And because of Jesus’ atoning work on the cross, I have direct access to God the Father, who is sovereign overall. Everything occurring in the world has passed through His loving hands. And we who follow Christ can trust that He will somehow use it to accomplish his purpose in the greater world, while also miraculously working it for our good and His glory. As Joseph said to the brothers who had sold him into slavery in Genesis 50:20, 

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” 

There is nothing God can’t use to accomplish His will. He is sovereign over worldwide pandemics, canceled events, uprisings, political elections, and disappointments. As the world seems to change daily, even hourly, James 1:17 reminds me that “[He] does not change like the shifting shadows.” He is in control of all things, even when we cannot see Him clearly. He is immutable, sovereign, and His anchor holds. 

When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil 

On Christ the solid rock I stand All other ground is sinking sand 

All other ground is sinking sand, but His anchor holds.

Kara is the wife of 20+ years to Caleb and the mother of 5, including 2 through the miracle of adoption. She and her family live on 8 acres, raising cows, goats, chickens, and turkeys, as well as a large garden. She is passionate about hospitality, mothering, the intersection of farm-life and faith, and finding beauty in the commonplace. She enjoys her classics bookclub, walking her country road, and traveling with her large family. She occasionally blogs at goodgiftsfarm.com, but you can keep up with her more regularly on Instagram @good_gifts_farm.

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