I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. If you know anything about Cleveland sports, you know that one thing we have cornered the market on is HOPE. If you’re a fan in Cleveland, you know what it means to hope. We’ve been doing it a long time. a LOOONG time. But I doubt that is what Paul was speaking of when he said:
As we look at the second to last quality of love in this series on 1 Corinthians 13, we find a word that be very difficult in many relationships.
Hoping he’ll come to church
Hoping she will recognize how hard he works
Hoping he’ll engage with his family
Hoping she will still see him as her hero
Hoping he will still see her as beautiful and worth chasing.
That is just a sampling of the list. I would bet that many of us have been across the table in a coffee shop or held the phone and heard those words from a friend or loved one. Maybe you’ve said them yourself. As hard as it might be to think or do, Paul instructs us that love “Always Hopes”. It hopes for a revelation. It hopes for a new beginning, a changed heart, a spark in the relationship or a memory of where we used to be. I don’t have the answers. There are many, many other books written that have some insight in the ways to create that within our relationships.
What I do have are the words of Paul and the understanding that each and every person needs hope. We need it in our homes. We need it in the doctors office. We need it in our church. When we have hope, we have something. There is an anchor that we can hold onto and a place to reach for something more. Hope gives us a reason to strive for better. In some cases, it gives us a reason to live. If you’re in a situation where love isn’t what you thought it would be, don’t give up hope.
While love is not like a sports team or a city, one day Cleveland will raise a banner and hold a trophy. That victory parade will be the sweetest day. It will be the day we have hoped for. It will be worth all the heartbreak.
I’m counting on it….