Making Room for Hope
Yael Eckstein | October 20, 2021
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. — Genesis 21:19
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Vayera, which means “and he appeared,” from Genesis 18:1-22:24.
Someone asked me the other day what I would say if I had to choose one word to describe the work of The Fellowship. To be honest, lots of different words came to mind. Maybe if I were asked this question every day, I would come up with different answers each time. There is just so much that we do. But this time, the first word that popped into my head was “hope.”
When we bring food and blankets to needy elderly Holocaust survivors, when I have a chance to visit Jews who are living in poverty in the former Soviet Union, when we bring Jews home to Israel who have been suffering from persecution, I see the work that we do is bringing people hope.
Hope and faith are two sides of the same coin. To someone who feels that all is lost, that there is no way out of their problems, it usually means that they are struggling with faith in God. When our faith in God is strong, it allows us to see possibilities that we didn’t know were there, making room for hope.
As my Christian friends like to quote from the New Testament, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Making Room for Hope
I thought about this when reading the story of Hagar in this week’s Torah portion.
After Hagar and her son Ishmael were sent away by Abraham, they ran out of water in the desert. The Bible tells us that Hagar put the boy down and went far away so that she wouldn’t see him die. She had given up all hope of saving him. She had resigned herself to her horrible fate.
Then the Bible tells us that “God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.” It doesn’t say that God performed a miracle and created a well for her. The well was there all the time, but she couldn’t see it. She had given up hope.
It took God to open her eyes. When God entered the picture, suddenly she could see the well. Now she had hope.
There are times when hope is there waiting for us to see it, but we are blinded by our thoughts that all is lost. But God is there to open our eyes. Where there is faith in God, there is always room for hope.
Pray to God today for Him to open the eyes of all those who are losing hope.