Romans 5:5 – And hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. (NRSV)
On Newfoundland's south coast a spectacular fjord stretches over 50 kilometres in length. At one time this great bay was called Bay Despair although the name is Bay d'Espoir. Ice free, it was named "Bay of Hope" by French fishermen in the 1600's. A later lack of knowledge caused it to be called Despair until the rightful name was restored.
Strange how we sometimes forget to search for the true meaning in our lives and accept the erroneous view that life's events are more about despair and less about hope.
This summer I was introduced to life inside the Oncology Department of our local hospital as my wife received chemotherapy after having a tumour removed from her breast. In the eyes of patients and staff I saw that both hope and despair may appear to be near us daily. Yet in talking to those kind volunteers and staff and to patients facing uncertainty there was genuine hope. That hope is a gift of the Holy Spirit, which "does not disappoint us."
After the successful treatments are over and life gradually returns to normal, I think of how we can interpret the language of our lives as meaning hope or despair. The choice is ours to understand that language — sometimes with the help of interpreters — or to hear only vaguely familiar sounds, and never know their true meaning.
A great Bay of Hope is ours, a gift of God "poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit". And yes it is ice-free, open to us even on the coldest day, if only we will raise our sails in prayer, and embark on the voyage to find God's meaning for our life.
Prayer: Lord, we give thanks for the love and hope we find waiting when we let your Holy Spirit into our life. Help all who serve Thy healing ways as volunteers and health workers, and the people whom they serve, that they may know hope. Help us find Your will for our life today and to see Thy great hope which shines bright before us. Amen.