Springtime reminds me that there is always hope for anyone. At the end of winter much of nature (trees, flowers, bushes) looks dead, even in Florida. Leaves turn brown, dry up and fall off. The plants and trees become dormant. This happens to my Crepe Myrtle trees every year. There are no leaves are on them anymore. There’s nothing green anywhere. They appear completely lifeless. But I know there is still life in them and they will come back like new in the spring. If I prune them back, then they come back even more beautiful than the year before. So, I always have hope for them!
In my back yard I also have a lot of flowering bushes that were damaged severely this year by the sub-freezing temperatures. I was so sad. I had really enjoyed an abundance of blue flowers on them most of the year. I could look out the window and see them from the kitchen sink whenever I was working there (quite often!). But they had become nothing but lifeless sticks. I was sure there was no hope for them. I thought I should just give up on them, dig them up and plant something else in their place this spring.
Then I had this vague thought that just maybe I shouldn’t give up on them too quickly. Just maybe I could prune them back, like my crepe myrtle trees . . . and wait. . . not believe how things looked, but wait and see what would happen this spring. What could it hurt? And if they came back, I would save myself a lot of work and money!
Well . . . .guess what happened? About a month ago small signs of life began to be appear. Little green sprouts were here and there all over them! I was so shocked and thrilled at the thought that they just might make it! And yes, as the days passed and I continued to wait, more and more green sprouts showed up until all the bushes were fully covered with all new leaves! They were transforming into brand new bushes right before my very eyes! It was so unexpected!
And then it hit me . . . that it is the same in our children’s lives. God has given us the visual example in the season of spring to remind us of the promise of new life and the hope of re-birth. What looks dead to your eyes isn’t dead to God’s eyes . . . it just looks like it is. It’s all in your perspective. God has knowledge we don’t have. He has power we don’t have.
Father, do your pruning work in my child’s life. Teach my heart the message of spring. Remind me that you are working even when I can’t see any signs of it. Help me hold on to hope and never give up. Thank you for the promise of spring – – the promise of New Life and the very real Hope of a re-birth. And, by the way, thank you for reviving my plants. I can’t wait to see blue flowers from my kitchen sink again!
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions . . .” (Eph. 2:4-5)
“. . . 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.” (Rom. 8:24)
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God . . .” (Ps. 42:5a)