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by Kelly Shank on October 20, 2020

“Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.” -C.S. Lewis

When I think about the way the year 2020 has gone, I truly cannot help but long for heaven. 2020 has been a year that has left a scar on every person in one way or another. It hasn’t been fun. It’s been hard. It’s been inconvenient. It’s been stressful. 

For us, 2020 has brought extreme financial stress and an autism diagnosis. My husband works for a small business that, because of Covid, has lost nearly 90% of its revenue this year. My now 4 year old son received a diagnosis of autism and with that has come 30 hours of behavioral therapy out of our home. So, there have been a lot of days where I have looked at my life and have chosen to dwell on the hard things. There have been a lot of days where I am looking at my life through the lens of what’s temporary. There are a lot of days where I am looking at my life through the lens of this world that is currently operated by the enemy. On those days, I feel hopeless. And if I continue to stay there-if I choose to stay in the hard, then what is the point? How can I make sense of any of this? 

“Hope itself is like a star- not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.” -C.H. Spurgeon

So, my ultimate choice is not to stay there. My choice is to put my Hope in the Rock Eternal, my firm foundation. If I attempted to leave my hope in my circumstances, and not in something greater, I would continue to be disappointed. We’ve all seen firsthand in 2020 how drastically life can change in a day. Why would I only hope in something that can be good one day and flat out bad the next? Why would I hope in something so fickle? No, my Hope is in the unchanging love of God. I refuse to let my circumstances dictate God’s goodness to me. I will only rest in the Truth of what His Word says-that He will never leave me. He will never forsake me (Deut 31:6). If I’m presented with a hard thing, I can be assured that it’s because He trusts me enough with it. That doesn’t mean I don’t grieve or feel the weight that circumstance brings. But it does mean that I will do something with it. I will take my son’s Autism diagnosis, as hard as it is, and run with it. I will show up for him. I will show up for others experiencing the same. I will give God all the glory, honor and praise because I can trust He is doing a new thing in me (Isa. 43:19). That’s the only way to make sense of these things. He is equipping me for eternity. He is strengthening my mind and soul. Do some days feel like I might be crushed? Yes. But I never am. I might have a wound here or there, but I am not crushed. I moving forward with my armor on (Eph. 6:11). I am allowing Him to shoulder that weight. I am allowing Him to pave the way. He is my Hope. Heaven is my Hope. This world, and these circumstances are not my eternity. And I thank God for that. 

“I will lead the blind on roads they have never known; I will guide them on paths they have never traveled. Their road is dark and rough, but I will give light to keep them from stumbling. This is my solemn promise.” Isaiah 42:16

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