At this moment spring is 21 days, 16 hours and 36 minutes away. Yes! Three weeks. Somehow the hope of spring hibernates in the middle of the dreary count down . . .
It’s much the same when we’re waiting for hope in what appears to be hopeless situations – whether it’s within the headlines in the world or the headlines in our story. There’s something about the heartless-linger of winter that strips our peace like naked trees. Our attitude can go hot and cold, fickle as Pennsylvania weather right now, ranging from the mid-seventies to almost freezing. And then there’s the raw rain . . .
Spring brings the hope that things don’t stay the same. And rain brings what’s coming next.
I was reminded of this (again) just last week when I visited the church cemetery to place a rose on my husband’s grave in remembrance of his home-going. Close to the stone I noticed a deep imprint of deer tracks frozen in the earth next to the half-eaten rose, the one I left the week before around Valentine’s Day. But there it was – next to the vacant thorny branch, a glimmer of green-growth-hope sprouting out of a buried plant trying to meet the warmth of the day.
Somehow, while standing on the other side of the stone it’s easier to fix our eyes on the granite instead of the glory. We tend to focus on the piercing places that make life bleed, rather than the beauty that comes out of it.
So then, how do you and how do I experience peace and hope in the thorns that are left?
We live in a time when it’s hard to hope and understand the things we don’t, so we have to embrace the things that we do and see the purpose in the pain. Following the sacred path that leads to the cross, we must fasten our gaze on the One who leaves a seed of hope that rises from the dead out of the suffering-hard places.
Peace stems from our God and only in Him. In the unthinkable strife of life, our peace won’t be found in the world or empty platitudes from the well-meaning. Only God’s healing word of Shalom can breathe hope into our winters.
That’s my prayer for you, kind friend, and for the many whose hearts are breaking and facing uncertain times while waiting for hope to spring forth from their winter . . . He knows.
You keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You.
(song by Jeremy Camp – HE KNOWS)