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Reasons to Hope

Need Hope? Look Up

Photo from Sabina Sturzu

This summer I bought a hammock because there is little I love more than lying down looking up at the sky, watching the clouds pass by like it’s nobody’s business. They’re off the clock, on their own time, looking fabulous for the sheer joy of it. 

Watching the clouds move in their mystical way awakens something in me — spirit, breath, life. It’s no wonder for thousands of years we’ve placed heaven in the sky, somewhere up there at the very top of our perception. The atmosphere exceeds our imagination, rising into ether that we cannot see or know. Isn’t God like that? Isn’t hope like that? Beautiful, incomprehensible, moving in mysterious ways. 

Photo Dominik Dancs

I have always thrilled at the Psalmist question

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,’
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

How strange, how wonderful, to be in communion with God anywhere on the planet, even in abject darkness, fear, despair. 

As Paul writes to the Romans, “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

How incredible is that? Need hope? Look up. Feel sad? Dig deep. God is all around us. 

Photo: Cristina Gottardi 

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

I’ve often wondered if lying in a hammock feels so good because it subconsciously evokes that feeling we had as infants being cradled in our mother’s arms. My mom used to tell me when I was afraid, not to worry — underneath are the everlasting arms. 

This week on Reasons to Hope, we’re talking with Eric Maitlen — songwriter, performing artist, worship leader, and self-described Musicianary. He’s been gathering his Indianapolis community for Worship on the Water, an outdoor experience like none other, and he’ll share how he feels closest to God under a cathedral of sky. Join us at 3pm ET Monday on Root & Vine’s Instagram Live.

We’ve been writing the Book of Hope together for 29 weeks now, but it’s never to late to join us. Here’s all you need to get started