A Hope that Holds Us

The Sirens imploring Ulysses to stay (1886)

“Go back. Go back to the ancient paths. Lash your heart to the ancient mast. And hold on boy, whatever you do, to the hope that’s taken a hold of you.”- Andrew Peterson, You’ll Find Your Way.

“Never doubt in the darkness what you once believed in the light.”- Joni Eareckson Tada, When God Weeps, 161. 

We are tempted, almost moment by moment, to believe that we, as Christians, have moved from a place of safety to a place of chaos and confusion. Jesus bids us leave the “sure” things of the world, the things which all of our neighbors are seeking, the things which seem so tangible and real, and hold fast to Him, a Man who we have never seen and who claims to be Divine. It seems ridiculous at times, even childish. Success by lying, fulfilling our own lusts and dreams, toiling in our own selfish work for our own little kingdoms, these things often seem like the most stable of all vessels. To get out of a marriage can seem safer than staying in one, though, in certain circumstances, it may be; to open up to another, to serve another when all within you feels like being served, to be honest when you would rather lie, all these pull and threaten the unions we have made between each other and God. To get ahead by cheating and stepping on others may seem like a more sure way to security than good, honest toil, and feeding our fear of others by constantly comparing ourselves to them, yearning after their approval, can seem more certain and safe than resting in our Christian identity. Christians know this feeling well; oftentimes, the world looks safer to us than the arms of our Savior, and the embrace of our Savior, at times, looks like an embrace of insecurity and chaos.

And yet, as Odysseus made his sailors do, we, too, are to tie ourselves to the mast of our ship so as not to jump overboard in answering the call of the siren song. We must not absolutely reject what we have come to know is absolutely true.

I love Andrew Peterson’s words, because they are true words. Though we are called to hold on to the truths of which we have been convinced, in reality, it is the Truth that has taken hold of us. He is the Truth that has taken hold of us, and it is good to be captured and held on to by Him. This Truth  is the only hope any of us have for anything more than the day in, day out sufferings we all walk through. This Hope is a Hope that loves us, a Hope that resides with us, a Hope that transforms us, a Hope that holds us.

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