"Hope" by John Allison

Hope. 

Hope is what keeps us going.

It’s what pulls us forward, 

When our feet begin to drag across the rough pavement.

When our feet say “no more.” 

Hope is what keeps us walking.

Hope for a better day. 

Hope for a better life.

Hope for a rediscovery of the light.

Though it is dark and you cannot see, hope will lead you and guide you 

To your desired destination. 

I love reading the Bible.

The Bible is my favorite book. 

Because when I lay on the ground 

Exasperated from the endless trekking I have done. 

When I stumble.

When my legs ache, go numb and I suddenly drop to the ground with no strength left in me. 

I pull out the Bible and I read God’s work.

His miracles. 

His message of love and strength through him.

And I am again reminded of his light and his strength in my life.

When I lay, with no strength left in me, I know I can call out to him, and say “lord help me! For I have fallen, and I need you to help lift me up and give me your strength” 

And he will do just that. 

He will pull me up so i can walk once again. 

Because he loves me.

When you collapse, and you feel alone, 

Remember that you are not alone.

Pray. 

Ask for God’s help. 

Open your arms and invite him.

Yes, he is always present in your life, but that is half of it.

It must be mutual in order to succeed. 

Open your eyes

Open your arms

Open your heart and say “God, you are my father, and I love you. I invite you into my life. Do your work and guide me. Help me when I need help. Lift me up when I have fallen. Lead me to you. “

Yes, it is hard.

Following Jesus is not easy.

Forming a strong relationship with God is not easy. 

It takes work.

But let me tell you right now,

It is so worth it.

God’s love is immense.

And he loves you SO MUCH. 

He is proud of you.

He is proud of who you are.

And what you choose to do.

Who you choose to be.

He is proud of what you are becoming.

God is proud of you.

He loves you. 

And he is proud of you. 

In Jeremiah 29:11, God tells the Israelites when they are living in exile, that he will bless them “with a future full of hope- a future of success, not of suffering” 

He isn’t saying that there will never be suffering. 

That those who pray and have faith in him will never suffer. 

He is telling the Israelites that though things may seem hopeless now, he has a plan for them that consists of a future full of hope and success, after the suffering.

After the hardships.

But they must continue to pray and to suffer.

The suffering is part of the plan.

You may be suffering now, but know that God has a plan for you. 

He will bless you with a future full of hope and a future of success. 

You may be suffering now, but he has a bright and hopeful future planned for you.

God has meticulously created a plan, specifically for you, that includes the suffering you may be experiencing now, you may have experienced in the past, or you may experience in the future so that you can endure, build your character and never be disappointed with hope. 

Whenever you are suffering,

Relax, 

Breathe, 

Pray.

And remember that it is all part of God’s plan. 

Hope. 

God gives us just that. 

Romans 5:5 states “All of this happens because God has given us the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with his love.”

Because he loves us and protects us. 

He protects us because he loves us. 

He protects you because he loves you.

God remains a permanent light forever fighting the darkness so that hate can never win. 

As long as we love God and god loves us.

As long as we continue to spread the message of love through our words and our everyday actions, 

Whether that be at school, in your home, in sports, or wherever that may be,

Love must be there.

And that is what will keep hope 

Alive. 

Questions for Reflection:

What line stood out to you most from John’s reflective poem?

Practice these lines from the poem, “Relax, Breathe, Pray.” Take a few deep breaths, sit still, even for just a minute, and spend a moment in prayer with the God who gives us hope.

Dustyrose Belarde