Written By Katerina Papadakis

Today I had the honor of serving on the New York City Relief Bus (www. Newyorkcityrelief.org) I urge you to check out this incredible organization who feed the hungry and clothe the poor. This bus not only provides soup and hot chocolate to the homeless, but also satisfies a spiritual hunger. It’s built on the foundation of our most precious commodity; HOPE. Now, you may be used to hearing that “time is our most precious commodity”, and although that may be true, without hope, time will inevitably pass us all by while some sit, wishing and wanting more. For example; Some people are sitting on opportunities, some are wishing for a “big break” and many people are waiting for the “right time”.

I can’t help but wonder, have we recklessly tossed the word hope around to the point where we forgot what it means and what it truly stands for? We hear hope used in a number of different ways. For example, one of the most popular country songs (and one of my favorites) is “I hope you Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. That song is talking about hoping that the person chooses courage instead of fear, authenticity instead of conformity and humility over pride. It’s a beautiful song and a beautiful wish for someone.

The definition of Hope is a feeling of want and desire for a certain thing to happen. It’s a funny thing if you think about it. When you say “I hope I get this job” or “I hope I get that promotion” what you’re really saying is “That’s my desire but im uncertain if that will happen”.

In 2012 I had one of the most pivital turning points of my life. I went out of town with a bunch of my friends and after a long drive, I just wanted to sleep. This was during the day and anyone who knows me knows, I cannot nap while it is still daylight. Call it FOMO, call it whatever you would like but it just doesn’t happen for me. Naturally, curiousity killed the Kat (pun intended). I opened the night stand drawer in my hotel room and saw the bible. Back then, I used the bible almost as a magic eight ball in book form, randomly opening pages and whatever I pointed to was something that was directed to me. I would randomly point at a verse (even though I had no idea what I was reading)…names and places were extremely difficult to pronounce and I felt as if I was reading an entirely different language. What I eventually learned was it was a language of hope and love. Flipping through a couple of pages I came across this note. The note was in the book of Matthew and it read:

“I dont know who you are, but I PRAY you find HOPE in Jesus Christ, His love for you is unconditional, his mercy and grace are unending”

I stared at it for a while. I read it over and over again. I couldn’t believe that note was there, at that exact time, in that exact room, in that exact book, on that EXACT page. I found what I didnt even know what I was looking for. Since that day I found myself “paying it forward”. Now whenever I stay at a hotel, theres a note from me to someone. I don’t know if it’ll ever be opened. I certainly don’t even know who will find it. But one thing is for sure. Whoever does will be searching for that same something we all yearn for and that something is hope.

I once was lost, but now I’m found….Amazing grace.

Looking back, I am forever indebted to the person who planted that note there. As I am digging deeper into the meaning of hope, I noticed what he or she said. “I PRAY you find HOPE”. Not “I hope you find hope”, because that’s uncertainty. They said “I PRAY you find hope”. Biblical hope.

Biblical hope not only desires something good for the future; it expects it to happen. And it not only expects it to happen; it is confident that it will happen. To hope is to trust.

“May he give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed” Proverbs 20:4

“Our first step to victory in spiritual warfare is to trust only in the mercy and grace of God; all who trust in themselves will soon be cast down. Believers triumph in God, and his revelation of himself to them, by which they distinguish themselves from those that live without God in the world.” — Bible Hub commentary on Proverbs 20:4

Today was a day where Hope was alive and well. You could see it in the eyes of those who were served. I witnessed hope that turned into love that turned into trust. People all around felt it, saw it and lives were positively impacted. As I went in expecting to change a life, my life is forever changed.

I pray you find hope.