The thrill of hope. I’ve been seeing that phrase on everything Christmas this year. It’s a marketing slogan for one company. It’s the title of Advent devotionals. Oh. The words are taken from a well known Christmas song “O Holy Night”. We sing it every year, but do we notice the words we’re singing? Do we pay attention to the meaning of the words?
The thrill of hope. What is that?
thrill/THril/noun a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure.
hope/hōp/noun a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
My dog looks up at me with anticipation. Her tail is wagging faster than a foot can walk. It beats against my leg, as in rhythm with a band only she can hear. It beats so hard and long that I’m surprised she isn’t sore or injured from the constant movement. She’s waiting for her favorite treat. Or for a walk outside. Perhaps she’s longing for a trip to the dog park. She knows the thrill of hope. Hoping that her anticipation will turn into reality.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
It’s December. The seemingly longest month of the year. At least in terms of darkness and light. With the time change in the fall, the days are getting longer. They’re so long now that it seems we spend more time in the dark than we do in the light. I drive to work in the dark. I drive home in the fading sun. If the sun shines in the morning, the day suddenly seems full of hope. It brings an anticipation of good things to come. Until the darkness falls again.
When January turns the corner, I feel hope rising. I know that by the end of the first month of the new year, the days will begin to lengthen by one minute a day. Doesn’t seem like much. One minute. But that’s 31 minutes by the end of January. By the end of February, there’s 28 more minutes. Almost a full hour of light has been added in the darkest of winters. It brings the thrill of hope that spring is coming. That spring will show up again as it always does.
God will make a way through the wilderness. He will make a river in the desert. If he can do those things, why not trust him to make a way through your wilderness? Why not trust him to lead you to the river in your dry wasteland? He will, you know. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But God will make a way. He is working for you. Not against you. In his sweet timing and perfect plan, God’s way will shine forth as the dawning day.
The thrill of hope keeps me holding on to the promises God has given. The thrill of hope lets me know that my eternal future is brighter than I can imagine. My hope is in heaven. This life will have trouble, but the thrill of eternal hope moves me forward as I cling to God’s love, forgiveness, grace and mercy.
The thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. –Placide Cappeau