Spending time with my honey is one of my favorite things to do. Yesterday Michael had the day off and he had scheduled a morning meeting. “Bye, Babe!” I cried. I waved as he pulled away on his motorcycle. Okay, get moving! I decided to take my walk alone to maximize our time together later. I donned my exercise clothes leggings, long sleeve shirt and jacket, next a black puffy vest, bright pink walking shoes, complete with a winter hat and mittens. Yes, mittens in April! You see, I have one fear, the fear of being cold. I mean I hate to be cold. It makes my bones ache. I giggled because most people I passed on my walk were wearing shorts and a T-shirts. I finished my walk, closed the walking app on my phone, “Work out complete!” the automated voice kindly informed me of the elapse duration and distance. Phew! that felt good.
I looked around, no motorcycle in the driveway. Hmm? Michael’s not home yet. I decided to begin a little of the yard work. I grabbed some gardening gloves from a tote they’d been hidden in during the winter and a small green handled clipper, which was too flimsy for what I needed, but I used it anyway. I cut away the dead sedum plants making way for the new green leaves that had emerged from the ground in clusters. I also pulled out multiple flat, yellow, stringy, dead leaves and was pleased to find multiple hosta heads, pointing to the sky, at attention, as they erupted from the earth… Rebirth! I didn’t clear every fall leaf or dead piece on purpose. Something about the juxtaposition of death and life brought hope.
I plopped my fanny down in the grass as I cleared away dead plant debris, pushed around the rocks and made way for the plants which announced their arrival. I picked up twigs and tossed them in a round bucket. Then at one point a thorny branch from bush we have poked through my gloves. Wow! That hurt like a son of a gun! I quickly whipped off my glove tried to find the thorn in the tender piece of skin between my thumb and forefinger. Man! That tiny thing hurts like the dickens. I saw the spot that was poked, shoved it in my mouth and sucked on it for little while. The pain or a hot flash, I’m not sure which, caused me to feel like I was burning up. I sensed abrupt action must be taken. I immediately ripped my winter hat from my head and threw it, I peeled off my black vest, and quickly stood to get more air circulating around me. Well, finally I’m hot! I glanced down at my hand and decided I didn’t need a Band-Aid so I put my gloves back on and continued.
Multiple neighbors walked by with dogs on leashes, others waved at me with children in strollers. The hum of an electric sander, coming from the garage of a neighbor working on a refinishing project overpowered the music I was listening to so I pressed my ear buds in and I turned up the volume a bit. I listened over and over to become familiar with the music for Easter’s worship service at my church. The more I listened to get my part secure the more I worshiped and the hope of God filled my heart.
Rachel, just few short weeks ago there was snow on the ground, but now trees are beginning to bud, plants are poking through, some flowers are blooming and the grass has turned green. Spring has sprung! I heard a preacher say God works in both “the gradual process” and in the “and suddenly.” I believe it and I see it manifested in my yard and my life. The God of hope is working in me as he fills me with His joy and peace. I am so thankful for the hope that He gives. Hope is all around me in creation, in people of promise and in my heart. Yes, I’m still waiting for the “and suddenly” in some areas of my life, but I know they will occur, it’s called HOPE.
Even as I write I can hear doubt want to wiggle its ugly head in because we’ve all heard people say, “Yeah, but don’t get your hopes up.” It’s said to cushion the blow if something bad were to happen or in case we face disappointment. I just don’t think that’s the best way to think. I’m called to be a believer not a doubter. If God is for us who can be against us. It says in the book of Romans chapter eight, who hopes for what he already has? If we already had it, it wouldn’t be hope. It would be reality. I think we are supposed to get our hopes up. We are to believe Jesus who says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26
Let me ask, what are you hoping for right now? Is it:
- a new job
- the change in a health condition
- a restored relationship
- a financial turnaround
- some peace and quiet in your day
- a deeper walk with the LORD
- a lift in your spirit
- the salvation of a spouse
- the change in diet and exercise to reap rewards
- the words to be given you
- direction and guidance
I say, get your hopes up! May you be filled with hope. This verse has been my mantra for the last few years as I’ve gone through hope’s “gradual process” and still await the “and suddenly!” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13 I believe something good is coming because God is good and he works on our behalf. May you be encouraged today with spring in the air, with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus as our focus this Easter and may we all get our hopes up!