There are two sides to hope: the hope you give to others and the hope you receive. At any given time, on any given day, you can find yourself on either side of the hope equation.

At the beginning of Covid-19, our whole team spent time each day calling customers. We asked them to share the biggest thing on their hearts that day so we could pray for them. Often, after we explained why we were calling, there would be silence on the other end of the line. That silence would then change to tears of anxiety, stress, sadness—and sometimes just tears of joy—in finding someone who cared enough to ask and listen.

The irony of calling people to pray and offer hope in what felt like a hopeless season is that we actually became recipients of hope as well.

Trying to navigate a retail business during a national lockdown, along with all the other issues facing our country, can strip the hope from you rather quickly. Being hospitalized because you cannot catch your breath, or losing a loved one, is enough to deplete you of hope altogether.

But through that experience and others like it, I have discovered that the fastest way to GET hope for any situation is to GIVE hope.

If you are in the middle of what feels like a hopeless situation, take a minute to offer encouragement or kindness to someone else. Then watch as a new seed of hope is deposited back into your heart. You will also find that as hope rises up within you, despair cannot have a foothold.

No matter which side of hope you find yourself on today, know that there is ALWAYS a reason to hope.

Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word, I put my hope.”