Hope Like Wildflowers

Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainier NP

Wildflowers along the Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainier NP 

The smallest trouble is like a tiny blister on your foot,
With walking it will soon grow to unbearable proportions.
But I can put up with the most difficult circumstance if I have hope.
For hope is like wildflowers along the trail, they take my mind and heart to heavenly places.

Remember Your word to Your servant,
for You have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:49-50

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3

Gray Day

Gray Day

Sometimes the view is obscured

I awoke this morning feeling lost and lifeless. On such gray mornings I need a big dose of Hebrews 4:26.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Followed by Romans 15:13.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Usually it takes some time for the Son to burn off my grayness. Fortunately my coming before the throne is not about my feelings, but about trusting in God’s grace. 

On This Brand New Day

Brand New Day

A brand new day in the Icicle Canyon

On this brand new day what do I most need?

I need to reaffirm my hope is in the Lord and not myself. With His help I can scale the wall before me.

You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall. Psalm 18:28-29

Along with hope, I need remind myself of God’s faithfulness to His promises (His Word). I can trust in Him.

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

And most of all, I need to rest in His love for me.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

This is what I need. This is what we are given in Jesus. Take a long deep drink of this “Living Water” on this new day.

Hope in Midwinter

morning mist

Morning light on a cold day

In the dead of winter, it is the hope of Spring that keeps us going. In the same way, knowing the promises of God, and leaning upon them in our struggles gives us hope, that provides strength to go on.

Remember Your word to Your servant,
for You have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:49-50

Filling the Void of Life

Looking down on the Grand Canyon

How wide, long, and deep?   Beyond comprehension.

Life without love is an empty void.
Love gives hope to the hopeless.
Love can triumph over all ugliness.
Love can wipe away any wrong.
Love can fill any void.
But nothing can fill loves void.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.   Ephesians 3:16-19

Christmas Storms

Heavy snow storm in the woods

A cold heavy snow storm

Life is full of storms, most far worse than this snow storm. The Bible assures us that in such hard times, God is with those who love Him, even when we struggle with doubt. He promises to not only bring us through, but use our ordeal for his glory and our good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Unfortunately, this verse has been used clobber people over the head. Minimizing their travail with “don’t worry, be happy.” Instead of helping, it makes those undergoing difficulty feel guilty for not being able to rise above their fear, worry, anger and sadness. Jesus in Gethsemane felt all these emotions to the point of sweating blood, so our own dark swings of emotion are shared by our Creator…He understands.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The point of these verses is to plant a tiny seed of hope — not make us feel guilty. They are given to help us endure the howling winds of life by reminding us that morning is coming. A glorious Christmas morning like none have ever known before.

The two pictures below were taken the following morning. They would not have been possible except for the cold winter storm.

the morning after a storm

After the storm

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Icicles sparkling in the morning sun

A Prayer Plagiarized

snow covering a meandering stream

Pure peace, and gentle rest, wrapped in love for us to enjoy.

The LORD’s Prayer given to me.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:13

My prayer given back.

Deliver me from lust, and lead into into love.
Starve my stomach, and feed my heart.
Forgive what I have done, and reveal in me what You are doing.
Remove my shame, and drench me with Your grace.
Help me let go of my worry, and lead me in the pasture of Your peace.
Drown my pain with the hope of Your glory.
Remove the curse, and anoint me with joyful blessing.
Let me forget where I have been, by the power of whose I am.
Cover me with thy presence.
Rescue those I love, and bring us together in Your goodness … forever!