By: Sis. Eliada (Elizabeth Gomez)
“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” -Psalm 147:11 NIV
Hope is an unexplainable feeling of trust towards something we desire. For many people, hope is just part of human nature, a behavior that rings whenever the situation requires. But for us Christians, it is the spirit of God that we look forward to. It is simply a gift that we already received but will possess in God’s perfect time.
The Church expects us to be hopeful amidst trials that come our way. The Lord delights to those who seek life through hope on His promises, believing that God unveiled the importance of it through His words and wisdom. We, believers of Him, are aware that the deepest desire of our hearts cannot be seen in this world but in heaven. Our hopes are to be with our heavenly father that we are ever more willing to endure in following His commandments while we are in this world for His commandments are not grievous.
Hope is our motivation to keep on doing things that we are here for. It is the fuel to our spirits in doing our ministry and the will of God. It is unacceptable for someone to lose hope especially to those who were called. In moments when most people are blinded by sin and ungodly deeds, we are tasked to light their ways and lead them to the path of God. The only way to save their drowning souls is to introduce God and the values of the Church to them. Achieving these might be tough but if we put our hopes into prayers and faith that God will be the one in charge, everything will be easy and hope alone is an evidence that all of these shall come forth.
I cannot think of a greater example to demonstrate hope than the story of The Chinese Bamboo Tree.
There was a farmer who planted seeds of Chinese Bamboo. Like other plants, it needed nourishment to grow. So he watered it, monitored close and took great care of it everyday making sure it receives all it needs to grow.
After a year of taking care of it, there grew nothing.
The second, third and fourth year passed by, still there grew nothing.
People started to laugh at and doubt him. The farmer even started to lose hope, doubt himself and blame himself. Despite of these, he continued to persevere. He continued to water the seeds everyday.
On the fifth year, a sprout began to appear. In just a matter of six weeks, it grew up to 90 feet tall. Everyone, even those who doubted him, saw the great result of his perseverance and rejoiced with him as he enjoyed the fruits of his labor.
Relating to the story of The Chinese Bamboo Tree, hope is necessary in cultivating souls. It teaches us to trust God in our quest of saving souls. We search for souls, preach them the gospel and never cease to convince them that the Most Holy Church of God in Christ Jesus is the kingdom of God where they could find their salvation through Christ Jesus. It will never be easy but we should put our hope in God’s hands and power that He will deliver beyond what we expected.
I know some of us are struggling to see favorable results in this crusade even though we exerted efforts beyond what we are capable of. We even prayed the fervently just to save a particular soul but like the one who planted the Chinese Bamboo Tree, we must persevere. We are the people anointed by God to do this. His miracles are proportional to our hope and faith. The more we hope and believe, the greater the miracle will be. It might take longer than we expected but be patient and never stop hoping because God never fails to believe in us. Our dear Lord hopes for our faith too and He is above there waiting for us to trust in His power, plans and promises.