Finding Hope in Difficult Times

Like Joseph in the Old Testament, We are Put into a Pit; Like Him, May We Also Hold Firm on Our Hope

We are entering another day of uncertainty with the Corona Virus scare.

As we go farther on, maybe our questions, apprehensions, and concerns for the future are also intensified: What will happen to my children? What if the spread of the virus becomes more uncontrollable? Will I still keep my job? How will we survive this unprecedented outbreak? Where will I go when I get sick? Will there be enough equipment for our healthcare workers? What will happen to the world?

Yes, our current situation shakes our cages. It surely changes the way we think and the way we live our lives now and in the future.

Probably, at this time, we become used to hearing the message that God loves us. Someone told me, sometimes, it doesn’t register anymore. “OK, God loves me. That’s wonderful. But read what’s on the news! Look, what’s on TV! Think about the misery of humankind!

We are placed into a pit. Remember the story of Joseph and his brothers? Joseph was put in a pit and was sold to merchants.

Can you imagine that moment of darkness and obscurity when he was traveling with strangers to Egypt? Imagine that feeling of loneliness as he was separated from his family. Imagine that sense of betrayal and abandonment. Imagine his struggles when he was in prison.

Those were extremely dark moments. But despite those uncertainties, Joseph remained hopeful and held secure with his faith that God will take him out from the pit of hardship. The Lord brought light to him through his dreams. He later became the instrument to save his family and the kingdom from the famine.

We hope for an end of this unnerving time. We hope that doctors and scientists will find a cure or a vaccine to contain the Coronavirus. We hope that the number of cases would go down and the curve flattens, so to speak.

Yes, we should put our hope in perceivable human criteria or outcomes. As we do that, we are also invited to put our hope in the spiritual realms. This gives us perspective on the broader implications of our sufferings.

Christian hope is a humble and robust virtue that supports us so that we do not drown to temptations and despair along the path to recovery and victory. The same God who called, protected and allowed Joseph in Egypt is the same God who goes to the Cross, to fulfill the promise He made.

According to Pope Francis, “our God is the same God who, in the fullness of time, ensures that the promise would become a reality for all of us. What unites that first moment to this last moment is the thread of hope. What gives us peace in the darkest moments of life is hope. What unites us always to go forward is hope.”

Let us take extra care of our virtue of Hope. Do not allow it to perish. Hope transforms the way we think. So, for instance, we say that we are anxious and bored as we are isolated at our home–probably we change the way we think and engage in some helpful activities. Spend time with our family and talk to them.

While we cannot control the situation around us, we can control our actions and the way we think. Let us not put ourselves in a situation where we can no longer imagine the promise of the future. Let us not be confined to a place where what we see is only despair. The power of God is stronger than evil and any other power. God’s power is always present and active.

In Bill Gates’s open letter as he shared generous support and donation to combat the virus, he wrote “I am a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens, whether that is what perceive as being good or bad. The Coronavirus reminds us of the important lessons that we seem to have forgotten, and it is up to us if we will learn them or not.”

All trials will pass like a storm. We cannot anticipate and comprehend how God acts to bring a change for a better tomorrow. True to what St. Paul declares, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us (Romans 8:18).

May we hold strong on our Hope. God will take us from these uncertainties we are experiencing. Prayers and blessings!

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