Hope for 2022

But God’s hope can anchor us

Hebrews 6:18-7:2, 26-28 It is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. … Jesus has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. … The name Melchizedek means “king of justice” and king of Salem means “king of peace.” … He is the kind of priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin … the perfect High Priest forever.

We’ve had surprisingly mild weather for Pittsburgh in December. A couple of weeks ago, my 22-month-old granddaughter Talita climbed a playground ladder I didn’t know she was yet capable of, turned, and threw herself into my arms. A sobering moment! I could so easily NOT have been attentive enough to catch her.

Yesterday, the same child, on a simple walk through our neighborhood, as I watched her brother brandish a long stick (“I’m a fierce dinosaur”), pulled her hand from mine and ran into the street. So easily, a driver could have turned the corner and not seen her. Caleb was as upset as I was. “NO, Talita! You can only walk in the street holding Grammy’s hand!!”

Talita, anxious for action, resists restraint (at the beach in Brazil in November)

The question came to my mind, “Am I safe walking into 2022? Whose hand am I holding? Am I pushing beyond my own experience and wisdom?”

All of us have reasons to feel insecure about what may happen in the new year. Though we may already be concerned about “what’s next” regarding the pandemic, global warming, politics, economics, etc., we’re as unaware as toddlers of what we don’t yet know or understand. In many ways, despite our best efforts, we feel vulnerable and out of control, especially if we’ve suffered significant losses in 2021.

How can we, then, enter 2022 with hope, expectancy, confidence, optimism, faith, trust?

I spent some time this morning soaking in this passage in Hebrews 6 and 7, asking the Lord to anchor hope deep in my soul—hope rooted in his sovereignty, his power and love, his plan for redemption of our broken world, broken relationships, broken trust.

The refrain of a song we’ve been singing in church through Advent rings in my mind at odd moments: “Prepare him room, prepare him room, let the King of Glory enter in” (Sovereign Grace Music). It’s become my chief ambition for 2022, to stay firmly connected to my Caregiver. Like Talita, my safety, my hope, depends on trusting his wisdom and direction. And I have the advantage of one who is absolutely trustworthy.

O Thou, whose glorious, yet contracted light,

Wrapt in night’s mantle, stole into a manger …

Furnish and deck my soul, that thou mayst have

A better lodging than a rack* or a grave.      George Herbert, “Christmas I”

*Historically, a rack was an instrument of torture.

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