A few years ago I became aware of a nursing school curriculum that was focused on hope. When I spoke with the instructor, she talked about her experience in geriatric nursing and the importance of hope in helping residents with varying degrees of ability and disability to continue to find meaning in their lives. The course was meant to give the nursing students an increased capacity to find ways of bringing hope to their future patients.
The role of hope in the survival of prisoners (from the Holocaust to kidnap victims) is also well documented. We all experience the loss of energy and enthusiasm that comes when life looks bleak and the accompanying surge of energy when someone offers hope for the future.
Israel in exile was encouraged to find joy in the covenant promise of redemption. But that was an event that was who knew how far in the future-weeks or years or decades? It was in the present that they needed to be “prisoners of hope.” Perhaps, we, too, in the midst of life’s discouragement, would do well to let hope in God continue to move us forward.
Lord, help me to find hope for today in your past faithfulness and in your future promises. Amen. — CN