When Hope Is Not Enough

You’d think that by now, I would understand hope. Well, maybe you didn’t, but I sure as coconuts thought that I’d have some sort of grasp on hope.

I know The Hope. Yes, I’m talking about Jesus here.

Intellectually, I recognize that Jesus is my hope. Not only does Jesus offer purpose for my life, but by his not-giving-me-what-I-actually-deserve, Jesus has given me the promise of eternity with him. Why doesn’t that fill me with joyous exclamations and rooftop hallelujahs?

Because, if I’m being nitty gritty honest, I just don’t trust hope. Yup, emotionally, whole-heartedly. And ridiculously, sometimes purpose and future… it’s not enough.


Life never seemed hopeless before. But one day, in the midst of hot chocolate and my fifth bowl of ice cream (okay okay, that’s a huge exaggeration), I suddenly knew the word for what I felt.

If hope is “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best” (dictionary.com), then I tend to believe the opposite of hope.

I think I should whisper it. It’s both scary and healthy to recognize where you are and what you function from. Or maybe I’m making up lies now to comfort myself?


When hope flickers, I’ve learned to stomp out that little flame.

When hope slips through the door, I shove it out again.

When hope does the jitterbug dance step, I wall-flower.




It’s too scary.


Wouldn’t it be odd to admit that hope is my biggest nightmare? But, it is! Hope is the monster under my bed and the gremlin cackling in my closet.

Hope may appear to be a thing with feathers. (Yes, I’m talking to you, Emily Dickinson)

But hope scatters like ash, disappearing into the crevices of yesterday and nourishing the seedling of tomorrow. The hope that roots and grows to full tree height is few.


I wish I could tie this up with a pretty little bow and a pat on the head, but it’s just not that simple. Sometimes you need to rumble around with an awkward thought. Have you been churning over some not-full-developed pondering? Have you pondered what I’m sharing with you before?

May you grapple, toss-and-turn with words and truths and points of faith as you lean into relationship with Jesus and other human beings.

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