November 29

            It seems that there are many things that are in short supply in the world today. Many of them are things that aren’t tangible, such as respect, manners, kindness, faith, and love. When such things are in low quanities, and things that aren’t so desirable can be found in great abundance, it is easy just to give up and say that it’s hopeless, that everything is beyond hope.
            And this is not a new idea. In his masterpiece The Divine Comedy, Dante describes these words carved above the gates of the Inferno: “Abandon every hope, ye who enter.” There can come a point where things are so full of despair that they can make even the most optimistic person feel low. For them, the tiny spark of hope that energized them has disappeared.
            But as hard as it may be, it is at this point that we must not let that spark die. We are responsible for keeping it alive, and we as Christians do it by turning to the Lord. In Isaiah 43:1-2, we read, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by my name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” And in a rather nice follow-up, Lamentations 3:22 says, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.” We put our hope in the Lord that He will make things right. May the tiny spark of hope turn into a large fire within us that shines the love of God throughout the world.