Esperar

There’s a word in the Spanish language, a word that means two different things:

Esperar—to wait or to hope.

To us English speakers, this may seem weird to us. Having one word stand for two definitions would prove difficult in conversing, right? When someone is speaking to you and they used this word, how would you know which definition they really meant?

The answers to both:  actually, it’s not as difficult as it would seem, and the context of the sentence should tell you which definition the speaker uses.

But let’s forget about the technicalities of definitions right now. Let’s just focus on esperar. You see, the Spanish were smart in having esperar mean both to wait and to hope. For when you think about it, they both mean really the same thing. For isn’t waiting hoping, and hoping waiting?

When you are waiting in a long line at a grocery store, are you essentially not hoping that the lady arguing with one of the cashiers would just cease her pitiful whining, take her groceries, and leave?

When you were a kid, and you were sitting in your room and waiting to open your presents on Christmas morning, were you not actually hoping that your parents would wake up already?

When you haven’t seen a loved one in a while, and you get word that they are coming home, are you really not hoping that they will arrive, safe and happy?

When you are waiting for one of the trials in your life to end, are you not basically hoping that God will deliver you from it soon?

Waiting and hoping are about as inseparable as peanut butter and jelly. So when God puts us in a place where we have to wait for something, maybe He just wants us to hope—because sometimes, our hope isn’t as it should be.

Maybe, for once, instead of pitying ourselves, we just need to espera.

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