Long-burning hope

Photo by David Monje on Unsplash

I was scrolling
through Twitter
just before the
first Sunday of Advent
and saw this tweet:

That’s a cool idea, I thought. “The Hope candle burns the longest.” It makes sense that we need hope in our lives to burn the longest, to be there, alight, to the—hopefully not-bitter—end. We want it to carry us through. We need it to carry us through when life gets hard.

And then on the first Sunday of Advent life turned hard.

My brother Bob died in an unexpected instant.

Bigger-than-life Bob. Funny, hardworking, servant-of-all Bob.

Suddenly hope seemed in short supply.

Somewhere in the blur of the next few hours, I remembered the post: The Hope candle burns the longest.

It isn’t about my hope, which felt snuffed out. Or at least faltering. It’s about the hand that reaches out to us and holds us tight. “The Hope candle burns the longest,” I whispered to myself over the next few days. “The Hope candle burns the longest,” I voiced to people as they expressed their sympathy. I breathed it in. I breathed it out.

Today, I went back to find the tweet and discovered that it referred to a blog post from April Fiet. I read the blog. It’s beautiful. There was much. There was this:

“We are called to be a people of hope,
not because we have some extra ability to remain hopeful
but because we believe in the one who is the source of all hope.
We hope because Christ is the hope of the world.
And, when we can no longer hope on our own,
we run to the one who will hope for us.

April Fiet

Maybe you need hope this Christmas as well. Read the post. April Fiet says it better than I ever could.

Then grab the hand of the God who hopes for you. I’m doing the same. Breathe in. Breathe out. And whisper: The Hope candle burns the longest.

Photo by David Monje on Unsplash

9 thoughts on “Long-burning hope”

  1. Thank you Carol for these timely words and know that you are in my prayers. May the God of Hope wrap His comforting arms around your heart and hold you close.

  2. Just beautiful. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Your family meant so much to me growing up, each of you ministering in your own way to so many. Such a huge loss of such a wonderful Brother and Brother in Christ. The same God that Bobby is resting in now will reach down and hold you close, be your hope, heal your heart. Sending love and big, huge hugs.

  3. Dear Carol, I feel so sad for you. This post is beautiful. It gives us strength, peace, calm, and HOPE in our troubled times. Today Dec. 9 is the 24th anniversary of the homegoing of my dear husband, Malcolm. Even last night I was crying out to God that I wanted him back, needed him back. I still miss him so much. And I am sure you are aware what I have been going through with my Mom this week. I have had several nights with little sleep, long days in the the hospital and running around for business for her, and myself, and general errands, making phone calls, writing texts, emails and FB posts, spending time with Malcolm’s nephew and his fiancee who are visiting from NE, whose birthday is the same as his Uncle Malcolm’s – yesterday Dec 8. I am totally exhausted. I need not only Jesus’ hope, but His strength, rest, and peace, too. I am praying for you as I know you are praying for Mom, Beth, and me. Love, Carolyn

      • Thank you Carol. WE can support each other. Thankfully, Mom has improved a lot over the last couple days. We’re hopeful she’ll be able to be home by Christmas. Keep praying. Love you….

  4. For 34 years the Advent season has been hard for me because on Dec. 5, 1987 our 22 year old son died in an accident, leaving behind his wife and 10 month old son. Each year we are reminded our hope is in the Lord and He gives us peace. Hearing that the hope candle burns the longest adds to the peace God gives. He is such a loving Savior and brings us comfort through our grandson who is now 35 years old and lives with us. God is good and we trust Him to be reunited when our time on earth is ended! I know you also have the comfort of knowing you will be reunited with reunited with your brother. Until then may you have peace that He is the Blessed Controller of all things!

    • Thank you for sharing your story of loss and hope, Janice. So beautiful. I am so thankful we don’t grieve as those who have no hope. Blessings on your time with your grandson.


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