I don’t think I’ve ever told someone to get their hopes up. On the other hand, I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve used the opposite as a warning to others or a mantra to myself.
We seem to have this cultural fear of hoping in something that may disappoint us. It is as though the thought of disappointment weighs on us far more than the idea of living in a state of cynicism or pessimism.
I am hugely guilty of this, which is why I was so surprised when a song entitled ‘Get your hopes up,’ by Josh Baldwin came up on my Spotify playlist.
The words were so counter-intuitive that I paused to listen, and was surprised at how compelling they were. One of the key refrains of the chorus says
“Get your hopes up, our God is for us, He’s brought us back to life.”
As someone who easily lapses in to cynicism and worry, this was a good reminder to look up. As a Christian, I have every reason under heaven to get my hopes up. Not only have I been given the assurance of an eternity in heaven, by no merit of my own, but I have also been promised that God will work all things here on earth for my good and his glory.
She is no fool who has her hopes always upward in the promises of Jesus.
It’s Saturday morning. I’ve slept in and I’m sitting in bed with my porridge and a cup of tea that is teetering on being tepid as I forgot about it while I was scrolling through Facebook. It’s still warm enough to be pleasant though, and as I raise it to my lips I look out my window to see birds fly behind barren winter tree branches. I hear them chirping and cooing and suddenly the question pops into my head: Why shouldn’t you, in this moment, be perfectly, blissfully happy?
It surprises me, because I don’t feel like that, but as I think about it, I have no reason not to. Right in this moment, I don’t need to think about the school marking I have to do, or the cleaning, or whatever pressures I may have in life. In this moment I am free to be abundantly content.
How many ‘this moments’ exist in a day? Hundreds of them; thousands even. I remember hearing once that anxiety and worry are almost always concerned with the past and the future. Rarely do we have anything to seriously concern ourselves with in this moment.
This truth can be liberating. As I drink my now-lukewarm tea, I am going to choose, for this moment to be perfectly, blissfully happy.
Unfortunately this meme is too often reminiscent of my life. In fact lately, I’ve come face-to-face with the fact that when my life feels like it’s spinning out of control, it’s usually mostly in my head.
Now my head is a very real and complex place, so it’s not like that realization suddenly solves all my problems, but it does help to put some things in perspective. It also helps to find my solution.
See I might have 99 problems, but I have one solution.
When I don’t understand myself or I’m anxious about other people or I can’t seem to control my circumstances, there is one place that is my quiet eye in the storm. There is one place where I’m the most real version of me; a place where the crazy woman with her 99 made up problems fades away.
When I’m alone, on my floor, with my Bible.
When I’m reading the words of my Anchor within the veil and remembering that I was not made, primarily, for here.
It’s a comforting thought to know that the wild, heady confusion has a resting place.