How to Nurture a Seed of Hope
A seed of hope is sown in our hearts by faith in God. Faith in God’s word normally leads to belief in God’s accompanying action in our lives. One believes and hopes in God’s promises. And hope precisely consists in believing that God is faithful in fulfilling promises. God never fails and abandons. God does what God says.
God sowed the seed of hope in us. Like any seed that needs to be nourished in order to grow and bear fruit, so it is with hope. Once nurtured, hope bears trust, positive thinking, patience, confidence, perseverance, high aspiration, heightened sense of survival and compassion. Moreover, hope is the inner force that helps to pick ourselves up from the ashes of loss and tragedy. It gives us reason to go on and get through frustrations and setbacks of daily life. Hope is that voice from within telling us to believe in a better future and encouraging us to positively go beyond and keep moving on.
However, hope is not always natural or automatic. On the one hand, some people were born naturally inclined to be hopeful or hopeless, optimistic or pessimistic. On the other hand, individual nurturance can affect our capacity to hope and how we face moments of disappointments and despair. Thus, there is a need to nurture the seed of hope in us and live maturely in hope. Otherwise, hope becomes nothing more than a wishful thinking. For this, some concrete steps are necessary to make what we hope for happen.
As would any other habit, we can nurture hope through the following:
• Set goals and make plans. Draw up strategies and concrete steps to achieve them.
• Have dreams. We must dream big about the future we want but with realistic plans to make them come true.
• Face obstacles positively and creatively. We may win or lose but we never give up. That is hope in action.
• Develop positive self-talk. Thoughts and feelings are inward conversation ought to be channelled in a positive direction. Negative self-talk must be filtered or blocked out to create a space for hope to grow.
• Count blessings, be grateful and celebrate. There are surely reasons to be thankful for and rejoice no matter how bad days may sometimes have been. Rewards for achievements in life help improve one´s sense of hope.
• Acquire positive and avoid negative – people, news, stories, situations etc. Positive things cultivate hope and negative things lead to feelings of despair.
Hope is essentially anchored in the accompanying presence of God who gives us strength to reach our goals. And this strength enables us to make practical steps to keep the fire of hope burning and get us aiming high, craving, transforming, living and even hoping against hope. What was once a seed of hope becomes a grown fortress upon which we are moved to hanker after, confide, claw skyward and fly aloft under God´s tender protection.