This year I decided to do something that I have never wanted to do before. Plant flowers. I guess I didn’t really decide to though. They were 2 potted hydrangeas and were supposed to go to one of my dearest friends, but she didn’t have a place for them. She wanted me to take them and care for them.
The problem was, I am not a gardener… by any means. I love fresh-cut flowers, but I have no desire to care for plants. And by care for, I mean actually plant them and try to keep them alive.
If any of you know about hydrangeas, you know that they are “sensitive”, to say the least. I texted my friend and said that I had no clue how to even plant them. I mean it seemed simple, but transplanting flowers that hate to share their space with other flowers (yeah, try to put them in a vase with other flowers and they will be dead in hours) didn’t seem like a hopeful task.
So I dug a couple of holes, one on each side of my garden, in a place where each plant would get sun, and shade, I watered them and prayed these flowers that hated to be transplanted would survive.
For a tree there is always hope. Chop it down and it still has a chance – its roots can put out fresh sprouts. Even if its roots are old and gnarled, its stump long dormant, At the first whiff of water it comes to life, buds and grows like a sapling.
One had no problem. The other one withered by the end of the day. However, by the morning its petals were alive again.
Unfortunately, that was this plant’s story every day. Every morning it was alive and happy and flourishing, and by the end of the day, it was as good as dead.
After day 4 of this, I realized that regardless if I watering this, that the afternoon heat was going to end up being the demise of this beauty. The only chance this plant had was if I moved it again. This time to a place that had more shade during the hottest times of the day, and by the other plant that was thriving.
What is hope?
I realized I was playing with fire here. This would be the 3rd time this plant was moved around. This plant that doesn’t like to be moved around.
I didn’t think there was hope for this little beauty, but it thrived. It was planted in a place where it would get exactly what would need. Enough water, sun in the cooler parts of the day, and some shade in the hotter parts of the day.
Life can feel like that plant
, right? You don’t know how you are going to survive. Life doesn’t seem very hopeful. Circumstances keep cutting you down, and maybe when you think things are looking better, that is exactly when you feel like you are withering.
Maybe hope doesn’t seem to be sprouting anywhere
, and like everything around you seems dead, with no water in sight. No matter how hard you try, things just don’t seem to be getting better.
There IS hope, but hope may not be what you think it should be.
isn’t going to be what is seen, or maybe even what we want or expect. Because hope what is seen is not hope at all…
For I know the plans I have for you…
There is this great verse in Jeremiah 29:11. Most of you have probably read it, sometimes at beautiful events of celebration. But this was said when God’s people were in exile in Babylon. It was not a good time in their history, definitely not a time when they were showered with God’s blessings.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
These words were spoken during suffering. Along with words that follow that basically mean “bloom where you are planted.”
The problem is, sometimes it’s not easy to bloom where you are planted, because you can’t bloom without water…
And our living water is Jesus Christ.
Hope- elpis: the expectation of good. Joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.
There is hope. In the good times, in the bad times, and the days when you feel like you can’t go on. There is hope, just like there was hope for that beautiful hydrangea plant, and the trees that are cut down that get a scent of water come to life.
Hope is the joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.
And here is what happens when we trust in the Lord, or put our hope in Him… when we abide in Christ, plant ourselves in His word, and believe His promises. We will be like a tree planted by the water, whose roots grow deep. The deeper the roots, the stronger the tree. We won’t fear when the heat comes, we would thrive and not worry in the dry seasons, and even in the fire… we would still bear fruit… but not because of anything we have done, only because His promise is true. And when our hope is in Him, we won’t be put to shame, because He sustains us.
It’s been a few weeks since I replanted the hydrangeas. They are creating new blooms almost every day, and are about twice the size as they were a few weeks ago. I still need to take care of them. They don’t automatically care for themselves. And here and there the flowers wither, and I need to make sure they get extra water so they keep on thriving. But there is hope for them… and with water they grow and bud just as His word says.
We talked a lot about hope today, and I wanted to leave you with 6 Bible verses that share about what hope is, and what hope does!
Hope doesn’t disappoint and doesn’t put us to shame. (Romans 5:5)
Hope that can be seen is not hope at all. (Romans 8:24)
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5: 3,4)
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15: 4)
We can hope in what we profess, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)