Better Than a Yellow Submarine: Real Hope for Today’s Young People

By Published on April 22, 2023

I grew up listening to the Beatles. Regarded as the most influential band of all time, they and their music were integral to 1960s counterculture and popular music’s recognition as an art form. Although they came on the scene a generation before me, I remember borrowing my dad’s cassette tapes and listening to them on the school bus.

One song I remember is “Yellow Submarine,” written by musical icons Paul McCartney and John Lennon. The song is a psychedelic and whimsical tale of a group of friends escaping from reality and living in a yellow submarine. It became a vivid symbol of hope during a time in history marked by division and cultural upheaval, a colorful escape capsule in a grey world of oppression and challenges.

Hope was Hard to Find

It was 1966 and, for many people, hope was hard to find.

McCartney and Lennon’s artistic depiction of escaping from the struggles of society captured the imaginations of those who hoped for peace. Nearly 60 years later, in a world filled with fear, our young people need a light to shine into the gloom that sits on their culture.

We need a Yellow Submarine today. Except this time, with real hope.

The Gloom of Hopelessness

Recently, CDC survey results revealed that 57% of teenage girls — three out of five young ladies — said they felt “persistently sad or hopeless.” Why is it that our younger generation, with all the technology and opportunity they have before them, feels such oppressive levels of hopelessness and sadness? What is the cause of this generational sickness?

In a world that feels so dark, they desperately need bright pictures of color and hope. They need answers to questions like, “Where’s God? Where’s hope? Where to from here?”

This is why the message of hope found in Jesus is so urgently needed today. His life and teachings are no mere whimsy, like the Beatles’ yellow submarine. He is the ultimate rescue from hopelessness. His life reminds us that God can reach into our human experience and bring about beauty and new life, even amid challenges that are beyond our control.

A New Chapter

We’re living in a moment in human history where it seems like the past was more fun than the present. This explains at least partly the resurgence of ’90s elements across pop culture, particularly in fashion and music.

Gen Z is adjusting to the realities of adult life. Just as in the 1960s, our world faces plenty of challenges, including injustice, inflation, global conflict and political division. But take heart, for this is the magnificence of God’s narrative: A new chapter is yet to be written.

Hope Emerges

Challenges are not the end of our story. In the eye of the storm, hope emerges in its most potent form. In the presence of God we’re transported to a place of new imaginations. In worship our hearts are refreshed with joy. And in the Scriptures we discover the healing power of unconditional love and hope, revealed in Christ alone.

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The prophet Isaiah put it this way: “He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.” (Isaiah 40:11) In this verse, Christ is compared to a shepherd, and we are compared to the lambs being taken care of by Him.

When you feel alone, when the landscape looks bleak, you are close to the heart of God.

A New Horizon

God’s redemptive nature works actively to turn things toward a brighter future. We can weather the storm, walk through the valley and hold on during the midnight hour. A new horizon awaits us, and the first step on this new journey starts now.

The yellow submarine was fun in its way, making the clouds seem to pass, making joy seem to arise. Jesus’ work is more than seeming. With Him the clouds will really pass, and joy will certainly come.

A Message for You

So breathe deep and allow hope to enter your soul one more time. The message of Jesus is more beautiful and hopeful than a fictional yellow submarine. It’s a message of true love and true redemption. It is a message for you.

 

Benjamin Windle is an author, pastor and Millennial/Gen Z Specialist. As a pastor for over 20 years, he’s walked with many people through the dark shadows and valleys of the human experience. He has dedicated his life to helping people overcome life’s challenges by growing deeper in their faith and reaching higher in life. Benjamin is a new-generation content creator for some of the most respected Christian brands in the world. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Cindi, and they have three sons. Benjamin is the author of “Good Catastrophe: The Tide Turning Power of Hope.” For more information, visit benjaminwindle.com. 

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