Prisoners of Hope
“Return to the stronghold,
You prisoners of hope.
Even today I declare
That I will restore double to you.”
“Prison” can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Most of us will never actually experience time in jail, but we can be held captive by many things. Situations. People. Debt. Sin. Our past. In all of this, we can certainly be prisoners WITH hope, which is how some versions translate this verse. But I prefer to be a prisoner OF hope.
Sometimes when I am in a situation that causes me to feel trapped, and my emotions are spiraling out of control, and my thoughts are chasing right after them like an umbrella on a windy day, and I think to myself, “I cannot bear this one more minute,” somehow a supernatural Hope reaches down and grabs hold of my heart and says to me sternly, “Nope, you are mine, and I am not letting go.”
It’s actually less painful to our fragile human psyche to GIVE UP and stop believing for change, stop believing life could ever be different, that WE could ever be different. And we protect ourselves by giving up and telling ourselves it doesn’t really matter, it’s not that important, and we don’t really care whether IT happens or not. It’s trying to wrap a layer of cotton around our hearts so it doesn’t hurt so much when life drops us to our knees. It’s trying to cushion our minds in a turban of netting so the thoughts can escape the pressure cooker of our logical thinking and we can stop caring so much. But caring and hope go hand and hand. We are bound by hope BECAUSE we care, and even if we find a temporary reprieve from the pain by convincing ourselves we don’t, eventually the absence of hope begins to echo deep in our soul and we realize we have no other option if we ever wish to really live and breathe again.
Because we are prisoners OF hope. Hope itself holds us captive, tethers us to Jesus, and ties us down to a solid place when otherwise we would take flight like a helium balloon. Hope says, “I will not let you go, no matter how hard you beg, no matter how feeble your fight, no matter how loose your grip. You are stuck with me. I am your constant companion for this journey.”
And so we grab tight to that string as if our very lives depend upon it. Because they do. Life is not really life without hope, and somehow as we find ourselves once again lifted to new heights of hope, we find we are safer in this place that scared us only moments before. Where nothing is impossible for God. Where hope is an anchor for our soul. So hold on today, sweet friend. Let a fresh wave of hope sweep over you and hold you captive once again to the only One who can rescue you. It’s worth the risk. It may be this next bend in the road that brings your answer, or you may be traveling this path into an unforeseen future. Either way, you’re a prisoner. And that’s a good thing.