Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
In the garden is where I find solace. It is a place of reflection as I painstakingly pull weeds. The garden is where I go for tears, for gratitude, and for comfort. It is a place of prayer.As I feel the coming winter months, the leaves turning brilliant colors and dropping onto the grass, I know the earth and the animals are getting ready for the snow and ice that is to come. Yet, my heart is not ready. I grab on to any hope of lasting color. These flowers are holding on and I am holding on with them. I will remember them when they are at last gone for the season, anticipating the new blooms when spring comes again.
The flowers remind me of my eternal hope! The hope that endures long winters. Jesus promises to make all wrongs right, so I hold on tight and remember the coming spring. I wait and watch. When the first flower arises from the newly thawed earth my heart rejoices.
“In a world shadowed by cruelty, violence and loss, is there a good reason for the planting of flowers? Ah, yes!For these bursts of colors and beautiful bloomsare bright dabs of grace, witnesses to a promise,reminders of a spreading beauty more eternal, and therefore stronger than any evil,than any grief, than any injustice or violence.These evidences are foretastes of the coming redemption of all things, that those who live in these hard times between gloriesmight see and remember,might see and take heart,might see and take delight.”(Every Moment Holy, a liturgy for the planting of flowers)
“With God it is always a comma, and never a full-stop. With God there is always more to say, and that more is a gracious and often unforeseen ‘nevertheless’.Although all may seem to be lost, the last word is always God’s, and that word is a joyful and a defiant ‘Nevertheless!’” (Karl Barth)
Our joy, and our hope in the promises of God will not fail. There will be a day when all sorrows will fade away.
Thanks be to God!
Questions to Ponder:
When hope seems to get clouded by life’s circumstances, what are the ‘bright dabs of grace’ that remind you to rejoice in your hope?
Prayer of Response:
Jesus, thank you for the hope you have given. Thank you that no matter the circumstances that surround us, you offer hope that does not disappoint, a hope that anchors us to truth. Thank you that because of this hope we are able to be patient in suffering and persevere in prayer
—Submitted by Stephanie Edsall
Stephanie and her husband Mike work for the Navigators, traveling to support and resource ministries in Western and Central Europe. They currently live in Beverly Massachusetts, and enjoy spending time with their grandson (and other grandchildren). Stephanie is on the Global Leadership Team of Lifesprings International and serves on the prayer team and PACT. (Peace Amidst Conflict Training team)