Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Season of Hope

"The beautiful spring came;
and when Nature resumes her loveliness,
the human soul is apt to revive also."
-Harriet Ann Jacobs

As part of my morning ritual, I lift up the blinds in my door window and my eyes rest on the pansies sitting on the bench on my porch. Beautiful purple and white pansies, my favorite flower and a sure sign of spring here in Vermont. How I love those pansies and how something so simple brings such joy to my heart.

"We discover the mystery of life and trace it to a God who cares enough about his children to reveal himself in the glory of pansies and black-eyes Susans." 
Timothy Willard in Longing for More

It's amazing what a boost those flowers and a sunny day can give to my spirit as the world awakens from another long winter.  The sluggishness of endless days spent inside trying to stay warm just seem to disappear as I open wide the windows and breathe in the freshness of the spring air.

There is something so invigorating about this time of year when we throw off the death that surrounded us and embrace the new life springing up all around us.

I find hope renewed.
What seemed impossible now seems totally possible and there is something to look forward to again.

Birds are chirping, leaves are budding, flowers are shooting up through soil now softened by warmer days. All of it awakens my senses from slumber and I feel energized and excited to be alive again!

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17

"For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle (dove) is heard in our land."
Song of Solomon 2:11, 12

Scripture speaks it so fluidly in the verses above and it captures the excitement of this season. We all like new things - new clothes, new house, new shoes (had to throw that one in!), new opportunities, new seasons, a new day. They give us promise, something to look forward to, something to hope for.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12 

That tree of life is coming alive!!!

That's my word for 2016.
Hope is the expectancy of a desire being fulfilled.

"For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth."
Psalm 71:5

New life gives me reason to hope. And while I shouldn't need the evidence of new life to hope, it sure doesn't hurt to see it!!

There's so much possibility in new life, so much hope, so much longing.

"....but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26

Ultimately, our hope is in Him. The One who gives new life, the promise of new life and the hope to believe in the possibility of new life.

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." 
Psalm 42:11

When we are discouraged, when we are cast down and we feel like nothing is as we would like it to be, we are to put our hope in God, for truly our hope is God.

"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah."
Psalm 62:5-8

I believe spring is God's way of encouraging us to be hopeful again, to find our hope in Him. He's giving us visual demonstration that as He causes the dead to spring to life again in the earth, so, too, He can do that in our own hearts and in situations that we live and grapple with every day.

Breathe in the fresh air today!
Find the wonder in the newness of life all around you!

Find your hope in Him today!

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