And hope does not disappoint.
– Romans 5:5
Hope lives in my yard.
It spills from baskets. It nestles in pots and peeks out from a layer of red mulch. It even inches around the rocks that line the pond at the end of the yard. At my house, hope is the thing with chlorophyll.
Every spring, my internal Eden awakens with the earth, stirred by the warm ground and the beckoning rows of new plants at the local garden shop. This year is no exception. In fact, spurred on by the prospect of an upcoming wedding, Eden has been working overtime.
This time of year teems with potential. I imagine the exotic King Tut grass I’ve carefully positioned at the west end of the little pond will look magnificent when it has filled out. I envision the red spirea playing the perfect accent to my golden barberry. The potato vine and silver falls should spill nicely from the planters when they have grown a bit.
I dream, I plant, I water, and I wait.
Then comes the hard space when dreams dissolve in the dirty reality of life.
One morning I walk out to inspect my plants and find holes where insects have eaten into the coleus. The red climbing rose falls prey to marauding deer in the night. Then hot weather hits, and I’m tethered to a sprinkler hose for the next three months. I battle weeds and bugs and weather and remember why it’s so hard to grow anything on a country hillside in northern Idaho.
I know, though, that barring a grasshopper invasion or a severe drought, at least some of my garden will survive the summer. It just takes a lot of perseverance.
I’ve been here before, in the dry space between hope and the harvest.
Years ago, Jesus saved me and gave me a commission to raise our family to live for Him. In those early years, I dreamed of what my children would be when they were grown. My husband and I planted the seeds of eternity in their hearts while we fed them, watered them, and chased away the predators.
Then came the hard years, when it seemed all I did was wipe dirty faces and comfort sick little bodies. We disciplined them, prayed for them, and wept over their struggles as they grew. In the heat of trials, I often failed them. Sometimes I wondered if I had done anything right.
My children are grown now, and I’m amazed at what a great job God has done. They all love the Lord Jesus, and I enjoy just being around them. They are wonderful people, and I love walking through the garden they are. It’s been an abundant harvest.
What seed has God planted in your heart? To what has He commissioned you? Are you in the dry space between hope and the harvest? If so, take courage. You are not forgotten, God is at work, and you will reap, if you don’t give up.
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”
-1 Corinthians 3:7 (Berean Study Bible)