I was five when I experienced my first Halloween Carnival. Now, I would like to say that it was called a Fall Festival or something clever, but this was in the sixties before Halloween truly became something scary.
My mother walked through the cake walk with me and a little girl I knew won the brownies my mom had donated. I then tried tossing rings around coke bottles, but evidently didn’t have much of an arm.
Then I discovered the fishing booth. A nice man gave me a stick fishing pole and helped me launch it over a blue curtain into the deep. Within seconds, my pole began to tug and as I pulled it towards me, I found a little bag of jacks clothes-pinned to the end.
Delighted, I wanted to fish again. And each time I caught a new toy that I could take home for keeps.
With growing confidence, I tossed my line over the curtain again and again. Why everyone wasn’t lining up for this experience? Every other booth gave away something some of the time, but this one was a sure prize every single time.
As October brings back these memories, I realize that hope was the success of that simple booth; hope of a prize at the other end.
By its very definition, hope is “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out well.” (Random House Webster’s)
But, sandwiched between love and faith (1 Corinthians 13:13), hope rarely gets the spotlight that it deserves.
Think about it. Hope:
- Gives us reason to rejoice (Romans 5:2)
- Doesn’t disappoint us (Romans 5:5)
- Is a source of encouragement (Romans 15:4)
- Is one of God’s own attributes (Romand 15:13)
- Gives us boldness (2 Corinthians 3:12)
But Hope is one of those attributes that can only be obtained by reaching out with our spiritual sense of touch and grabbing hold.
Hope is throwing our spiritual fishing pole over the curtain, and fully expecting the One behind the veil will connect us with His very best. (That is one of His promises, you know – Hebrews 11:6b). We can have strong encouragement, knowing that hope is the lifeline to drawing near (Hebrews 6:18-20).
Of course, in real life, we fish amid great turmoil. Sometimes, we can hardly faith because we can’t see the other end of our pole through the storm and the waves. Loving may even be difficult as so many remain unloving around us.
Yet, like a drowning man clinging to his life preserver, we can hold fast to our Hope, knowing that He is likewise holding onto us (Hebrews 10:23).
Stirring up the hope He has implanted within you begins with being thankful for what you already have.
Need a firmer grip on Hope? Begin and end every day with a five-minute gratitude attitude. “I love my life because….” will remind you just Who is on the other end of your fishing pole. And if you are not careful, you may begin to recognize that it’s His Hand that is in yours, not a stick and cord at all (Psalm 139:10).