It has been more than twenty years since I met a distant cousin named Hope. I remember wondering why her parents would choose such a name for their daughter. But recently, I’ve found myself wondering why more people have not chosen such a beautiful name for their daughters.
Hope is such an all encompassing word, a word that can be a noun or a verb, a word that can lead to happiness or sorrow. Hope is an emotion, an inspiration, and a word that is synonymous with faith. When Christians proclaim that their hope is in the Lord, they can easily change the word to faith.
Webster’s Universal College Dictionary (2001) defines hope as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out well.” The glimpses of Heaven (I choose to capitalize that word because it is indeed a real place or city) we see in the fallen world of today remind us that our destination is a place where things will indeed “turn out well.” The future residence of those that choose life over death is a place that can be described as “wanted.”
This girl named Hope had been given a first name that was uncommon but a real conversation starter. Twenty years ago, I had not been so mesmerized by the definition of hope or the Giver of hope. In fact, I can’t even remember Hope’s answer to why her parents chose her exceptional moniker. I have since learned that there was a movie star named Hope Miller, the same first and last name as my distant relative. I’ve never had the opportunity to once again inquire about the origins of Hope’s name.
If I met a girl named Hope today, my first question would be if her name was based on Webster’s definition of the word hope, a definition which includes “to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.” As a firm follower of the Christian faith, I would want to meet and get to know the parents of someone who would realize the beauty, power, and assurance involved with such a pronouncement.
Once again, it has been more than twenty years since I last saw Hope Miller. I am praying that she has always known or eventually discovered the power behind her name and examined the Biblical importance of such a name.
Matthew 20:21 (NIV) states that “In His name the nations will put their hope.”
Romans 15:13 says “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
And while I could go on for quite a while quoting the scriptural references to hope, I would like to close with one my favorites: “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5)
No doubt about it, Hope is a beautiful name for a child and a wonderful gift to mankind.