“Camellias, tulip trees, and narcissus are blooming, and hyacinths and even a few brave azaleas are peeking out.”
“Last spring I planted a few broccoli plants and was amazed at how prolific they were! I didn’t think broccoli would thrive in our hot weather.”
photo: Danielle Closs, 2008; photo editing, Denise Cotter
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Backing out the driveway I comment to my daughter, “Looking out this windshield is like viewing the world through frosted zebra stripes”. She sits a bit hunched beside me rubbing her chilled hands to recover them from clearing the ice from the car window shield. My body stiffened to brace from the cold, toe tips beginning to feel the impact of the rude air that seems to seep through my souls— another day in paradise! As the car peeps over the hill we are hit by the blinding impact of raw sunlight bursting from the mass of light unusually low and large. It seems out of place in the scenic view of the farm school fields with fences barely visible hazed by the morning frost and moist air.
“Springtime is very near here in Southeast Texas!”¹
Warmed by the mental images of a blog share yesterday, when a friend, Auntie Em, posted garden-fresh broccoli images and shared a verbal illustration of spring. It is coming! I can smell the hyacinths and see the forsythia boldly confirming — spring is here!
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12 ESV
Auntie Em’s images of spring brought me hope—not the winsome half-hearted hope we often hear expressed in, “I hope so” <sigh>, but confident hope— the hope of the bible. Biblical hope is without doubt. The Greek and Hebrew meaning of hope is compounded in confidence, security, and being without care; therefore, the concept of doubt is not part of this word!
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; My flesh also dwells secure. Psalm 16:9
…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Biblical hope has substance and a home for our faith as Christians. We hope in Jesus. We hope in salvation. We hope in justice. We are instructed to hope and not be discouraged which is evidence of a lack of faith. Our unseen heart, or soul², is instructed to reach to the unseen and trust God, and have confidence in His Sovereignty.
We are weak and needy and our faith is failing. Lord we ask you today to fill us with Godly faith—the faith of the bible. Where there is doubt, fill us with confidence in You. Where we lack hope, fill us with a conviction of your promises to us for goodness. Lord, where discouragement and fear has found a place in our spirits, rid us of these evils and fill the void with joy and security rooted in You, the maker of all that is good.
Thank you for hearing us and loving us. Help us to keep you close in our hearts, the unseen home, and erect in us spiritual eyes for the unseen good that is found in You. Fill us with a love that is pure and pleasing to you. Use us to share this love with others who are imprisoned in their circumstances and what is seen. In the name of Jesus, Your precious Son, Amen.
²http://www.jesusteachings.com/thesoul.html: Did you know that the soul is a part of the human design? Reading Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within (out of the soul), and defile the man.”And Reading in Romans 3:10, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (No, not one soul is righteous.) Reading Luke 16:15, “God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart (soul) of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”