by Brigitta Beam

I read a quote from Helen Keller recently that has been sitting with me ever since: “All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.”

For the most part I tend to be an optimistic person, so this idea of overcoming is something I already try to practice every day. However, while living through this upheaval that none of us planned for, some days it’s hard to hold onto hope. We are living in a world that is experiencing terrible suffering. Many are separated from loved ones in one way or another. Even churches are not meeting in person but are still coming together as communities in ways we weren’t sure would be possible before life got wild.

But if you look closely, we are making it through this. Together. We are staying home if we can, to help slow the spread of COVID-19. If we are healthy and able to provide help for those who are more at risk from this virus, we do. We are creating beautiful things to give each other a reprieve from the stress with which we are living. We are overcoming in the best ways we know how. It may be in small or big ways, but we are making it through the best we can.

One of the ways I am making it through is by taking a few moments at the end of each day to thank God for the things that give me hope for our future and the little joys that happened during my day. I find some days are harder than others to express these things, but digging deep to find the hope and joy in life helps pull my focus off the not-so-great things that are seemingly out of my control. The hope I have is this: we will overcome. We will make it through this together—maybe a little worse for the wear, but we will make it. And while we will be heavy with the grief of loss and change, we will continue to hope, to find joy in the little things, and to find ways to help each other in big and small ways.

I hold the words of John 1:5 close to my heart, especially in these times: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (NIV).

I will leave you with this prayer from Laura Jean Truman that has been on my heart lately:

“God,
You made us out of dust and joy.
Carve out space in our tired souls for delight.
Surprise us with small holiness: in unexpected silliness, in porch sunsets, in working with our hands, in neighbors.
Sing our dusty, beloved hearts home to You.
Sing us home to joy.

Amen.”

 

Brigitta Beam is a graduate of Union College and the office manager of Boulder Adventist Church.