We are in the midst of November. The end of autumn is a perfect point from which to look ahead to spring. The countryside reveals its period of rest and dormancy, a time when rebirth and renewal are just a few short months away. With the harvest ended, the land recovers.
As it is now, we enter a season where hope takes us through the expectations of winter’s icy grip. Shelters, with our warm hearths and homes, protect us from snow and storm that blanket the earth with scenes of dazzling white landscape.
The creation shows us God’s handiwork. We see it in forest glades, life-filled rivers and lakes, mountain ranges, the heavens and cultivated farmlands. For me, personally, the intricate beauty of His handiwork is highlighted by the sculpted and delicately painted blossoms grown in a humble flower garden. Such an artistic plot of ground publishes the evidence of a hope realized.
It began several years ago as I noticed some of my flowers waning in color and vitality. As they decreased in vigor and beauty, it became apparent that the plants would need to be replaced. New healthy ones could dress up our lawn and bring a special joy to the observer.
So, in hope of renewing the flower bed, I bought some landscape fabric for the renovation. This was my, “What would it be like if…” stage of hope. Thus began my stage of Wishing in hope. I communicated the reason for my purchase to my husband. He noted my idea.
With harvest demands and weather concerns taking the bulk of our attention, I stored my fabric, my idea and my hope away for the winter and waited for a more opportune time. Delay set my hope aside for a time.
Finally at long last, I came across a bulb catalog that spurred my desire to go deeper into my hope of a new flower bed. I was now entertaining a new stage toward my hope. One might call this the stage of Commitment. I sent for the bulbs and waited for them to arrive. My hope turned from being a simple wish into an imminent expectation. Again, my husband took note of the situation.
Bulbs are planted in the fall. So for my late October birthday celebration, my husband and some of our children delighted me with their labor of cutting through sod, loosening soil, placing landscape fabric on my garden space, and securing edging for not one, but two flower beds.
We planted my bulbs, applying soil and mulch. Now we are ready to receive winter’s cold as the bulbs acclimate to our soil and await proper temperatures for their new growth. My hope has been Fulfilled.
We are now in another phase of hope. It is a time of waiting and of Expecting the desired result. The expected result will be a delightful blend of tulips and daffodils to greet us as the world changes once more into a new season of growth.
Hope wishes, delays, commits, fulfills and expects. It sounds a bit like faith, does it not? Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
In Romans 8:25, the scripture also says, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
There are things we do not see, but being unseen they do not extinguish hope. Rather, they fuel it.
Walk in hope and embrace the truth.