At the 2002 Winter Olympics American Apolo Ohno hoped to win his second gold medal in the men’s 5,000-meter short track speed-skating relay. During one of the turns, an American skater fell but quickly got back into the race. While the fall and recovery only took a few seconds, it essentially put the American team out of the race. What was interesting was that the American team began to skate slower and slower, eventually being lapped by the gold-medal Canadians.
Why did they slow down? The hope of doing well was gone.
I get so much hope from the amazing Bible passage from Lamentations 3:21-26
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. 26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
Our emotions are so up and down as different circumstances crowd into our lives. One moment we are so encouraged, and the next, all we can see is darkness. So the discipline of calling to mind the over abundant instances of God’s love for us will help us to be spiritually oriented rather than emotionally oriented. As Solomon meditated on God’s love and mercy toward him, he shouted out, “Great is your faithfulness”.
When we can honestly say that “the Lord is my portion”, we are making spiritual progress. We are putting the love of the world behind us. We are setting our affections on the things above. “Abounding in hope” would be the fruit of our waiting on our Heavenly Father. That hope becomes such an energy giving attitude. We will find ourselves thinking of others and doing all we can to take Christ to others.