by Pastor Julane Nease

Lately I’ve been called out for frequently saying “I hope so.”

Apparently, it makes it sound like I lack faith, or that I have doubts about what the future holds. I have complete faith in God; it is human beings that I have little faith in.

That is where hope comes in.

In my mind Faith and Hope are intricately intertwined. My faith, my trust in God, is what gives me hope. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

I believe in the depths of my being that God’s best work is done within the impossible, but I also know from my experiences as a person who is alive on this planet, that bad things happen and often miracles do not. I’ve seen how wickedness can overtake the human heart and people act out of their own interests rather than the interests of all.

However, hope is my waiting room.

Hope is the place I wait to see how God will show up in the middle of an ordinary day, in a pandemic, in an attack on the Capitol, or in the life of a parishioner with cancer. Hope gives me space to see what God does and will do in God’s good time. It’s my faith which has allowed me to hope.

I don’t know when the pandemic will end—I know it will, because pandemics always do—but I hope that day will be soon—for with God, nothing is impossible.

I don’t know if the brokenness of this nation can be fixed—that is the healing, restorative work of God, but I have hope that it will—for with God, nothing is impossible.

And for all those in need of all kinds of healing—God knows what they need—and I hope they will be healed—for with God, nothing is impossible.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. And I’m waiting—in hope.

 

Pastor Julane Nease serves as a solo pastor  at United Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Rockford, Illinois. She holds an MDiv from Wartburg Seminary, an MSEd from Northern Illinois University and a BA in Fine Arts from Judson University. Julane has been married to Tim for 35 years; they have two adult sons and live in Belvidere, Illinois.