Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hope

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him."  Psalm 62:5

Yesterday, as I worked outside in the flower beds, I was reminded of how God used flowers to prove a point to me earlier this year.  He made hope become real to me...in a way I will soon not forget.  Moses had the burning bush.  This is my story of the "blooming bush"...
This story starts almost 4 years ago, when we purchased our house and all the overgrown bushes and unkept flower beds along with it.  It was fall, so it was pretty much going to be a "wait and see what happens" kind of thing until spring brought out the best in all things outside.  Spring brought several surprises across the property...daffodils, crocus, irises, jasmine...I loved seeing the treasures pop up and show off their beauty.  Down by the garage, however, stood a bush all fall and winter long just as green and full as can be...surely it will bring a show of some sort come Spring.  Nope.  Didn't do a thing but stay green.  Thinking positively, I thought maybe the heat of summer would bring out blooms.  Again, nothing.  
Fall returned and while out preparing the flower beds for winter, I decided to just get rid of the bush.  I hacked the thing down to ground level and thought the cold months would get rid of my bush that never did anything.
It grew back, just as green and full as ever.  Well, since it's that hardy, maybe the pruning would bring flowers this year...not a chance.  Again, all four seasons came and went with the green bush just sitting there.  Thinking that maybe if I left it alone and didn't viciously hack it in the fall it would bloom.  Wrong...just a taller bush this time. 
Come fall, I hacked it down again.  It grew back again.  Didn't bloom again.  Stupid bush.     
Fast forward to fall 2009 (repeating same process each year with same results).  I consider the bush hopeless and am really in want of it to be gone for good.  No chance of digging it up (I tried) and no hope of anything but green leaves, I hacked it down to ground level again and wished it gone for good.  A very long, cold winter came to GA.  Faithfully, as anything could, it grew back.  I told myself, "Self, as soon as it's warm enough to be outside, go and trim it down and spray brush killer on it and be done."  
On a warm spring day, I am oustide down by the garage working on the camper and I remember my conversation with myself about getting rid of that bush.  I had been having a really hard day and really feeling hopeless about a situation I had been praying about and seemingly not getting any answer to.  A good bush beating would make me feel better.
I walk around the camper and something caught my eye...no way...pink blossoms?  What?!!  
That bush bloomed!  And, I find it on a day when hope seemed gone.  With tears in my eyes, I thanked God for the lesson He just provided me.  When I have given up on things, it doesn't mean He has.  If we would get everything we want when we want it, we miss out on God showing us His awesome timing in all things...even the littlest of things.
Ever since this lesson, hope rides high even with odds stacked against it at times.  I was thinking about my blooming bush one day and the verses in Hebrews 11:1-3...

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
(Yes, Hebrews 11 is known as the faith chapter, but hope has its place here too.) 
and Romans 8:22-27...
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
 I started to think about hoping for things and why we hope for them in the first place.  It's because we don't "have" them.  If we did, there'd be no reason to hope for them. 
And then I thought about when I wait for something for so long and once there, it disappoints.  Admit it, it has happened to you as well.  The wait was so much more exciting than the actual moment.  The hope of something brought joy and anticipation unmatched by the thing hoped for in the first place.  Maybe the thing I'm hoping for will not be as good in the end...maybe that's why I'm not "there" yet...maybe this isn't always such a bad thing to have to wait for them afterall.  Consider with me...if that bush had bloomed that very first spring the dramatic effect would have not been there.  The memorable lesson on hope and God's timing not happening in such a fashion to change my life...that would have been my loss for sure.  Now, when things seem hopeless, I am reminded that waiting is all part of God providing for me...His best in His time. 
My hope is in God first and foremost...and I thank Him often for the lesson he taught me through the "blooming bush"!    

2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! I can also picture it from the bush's side of things. It was pruned time and again. It was cut down. It weathered storm after storm. The Life giver sustained it, until it was time to BLOOM:) Our hope and our strength GOD MOST HIGH!

    ps I hopped over from the iFellowship linky party:)

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  2. Thanks for hopping over! I know...I have felt like the bush, too, at times in life. When people give up on us, we know God never does. He is God Most High indeed!

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