After dropping off my Mom today following church, a bright green grasshopper jumped on my windshield and decided to hitch a ride. It started with a short distance on city streets at about 35 MPH. The grasshopper nonchalantly walked around a bit, and I wondered if he had any clue I was taking him far from his current home. When I entered the on ramp of the freeway, I told my new passenger that he might want to brace himself for a wild and windy journey. I doubt he understood me, but I felt compelled to warn him anyway. Sure enough, as my speed climbed to 65 MPH, that grasshopper got into position, hunkered down, and hung on with all he had for the seventeen mile excursion home. He survived the ride and hopped off the car into the great unknown of a new neighborhood. I was amazed. I had no idea an insect had the ability to withstand such an ordeal. But he did.
If we were to wind back the clock of time, I bet we had no idea that we could withstand the ordeals we have encountered too. But we did. The human will is far stronger than we imagine. I believe the common denominator is a four letter word called hope. Hope sustains us. When we give up hope, we perish, for hope gives us the fortitude to hang on when negativity abounds and impossible situations hover over us like a dark cloud. When I Googled the definition of hope, it read 1-a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, 2-a person or thing that may help or save someone, 3-grounds for believing that something good may happen, and 4-a feeling of trust. What surprised me though was a display chart that showed mention of the word from the 1800’s until now. There was a steady decline to where currently we utilize the word about half as much. Do we not talk about hope because we have confidence in modern medicine or perhaps our own self-sufficiency? Or are we silent about hope because we lack it? Did our ancestors know something we don’t? Why did they talk about hope more than us?
Looking at the definition again, the fourth point is telling-a feeling of trust. Trust. Our feelings aren’t always trustworthy, so I propose a knowing, a surety, a complete confidence that can only be in the One who never fails us. God is always faithful and steadfast. He will never leave us or forsake us. When all seems hopeless, He is our constant, reassuring us to hang on for whatever wild ride we may be on. The ride may be terrifying, unknown, uncomfortable, and seemingly impossible. He can be trusted to lead, guide, and go with us. He is our hope. Hebrews 10:23 NLT says, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.” Trusting in anyone or anything less is the shifting sand Jesus spoke of in Matthew chapter 7 verses 24-27. The story refers to the wise man who built his house upon the Rock, the firm foundation, which is the Lord. The foolish man built his house on the sand. When the rains came and the floods came, the wise man was safe as he clung to the Rock. The foolish man lost it all for he failed to trust in the true hope.
Life is a wonderful journey that includes happiness and heartache. Blessings abound and then the rug gets pulled out from under us. It is not a matter of if, but when. Remember the hope you have professed. Hang on and hunker down for the ride as that grasshopper did defying the odds. God never wants you to give up and let go of Him. He won’t let go of you. Hang on.