On a beautiful warm day before the rain and cold weather came, I got outside and planted bulbs. I had bought some boxes of daffodils and little irises for half off at Home Depot and I had a bag of bulbs given to me last spring that I hoped were still good. I grabbed my shovel and a bag of potting soil and headed out to stick them in the ground.
Gardening is an act of faith at any time, but especially at the beginning of winter when spring seems a long way off. As I placed the nice fat daffodil bulbs into their comfy dirt bed, I thought about how pretty they will look when they come up this spring. I planted them where I could see them out my kitchen window, by our back-porch.
Even as I smoothed the dirt over the bulbs, I worriedthat they wouldn’t come up. I tend to be pessimistic about the future, probablybecause I don’t want to be disappointed if things don’t turn out just right.When I was pregnant with Adam, I was so worried I wouldn’t have a healthy babythat I didn’t even set up a nursery. At the time, we didn’t have central heatin our old house and the warmest place was by of the gas stove in the frontfoyer. We put his crib in there and that was where he slept until he was two,when we finally got his room fixed up with a big boy bed and a cars and trucksbedspread. Planning too far ahead just makes me nervous.
But I’m learning that it’s not about fearing what may happen in the future – actually, I’m learning to accept that bad things will eventually happen. That sounds pessimistic, but it’s the opposite – God has been teaching me that peace comes from knowing that no matter what happens, He will be there with me.
I had lunch the other day with some old friends. Everywoman there has been through heartbreaking trials. They have all lost peopleclose to them and dealt with illness, both personally and with family members.Yet we came together, laughed, reminisced and had fun. Each one of them is asurvivor and each one inspires me.
FromHebrews 11 in the Living Bible Translation, we read the well-known faith verse:
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.Hebrews 11:1
Faith is the mother of the special needs child who patientlyholds the spoon day after day as her child struggles to feed himself.
Faith is the writer who keeps submitting stories afterbeing rejected for the thirtieth time.
Faith is the preacher who has endured criticism from thecongregation all week but gets up and preaches God’s love to them.
Faith is the woman who lost all her savings in a failedbusiness and is starting over in her sixties.
Faith is the teacher who walks into her classroom every morningand greets her students with a smile, even though half of them are failing.
Faith is the young couple having another baby after their first child died as an infant from a rare disease.
To have faith means working toward something that we cannot yet see. It is believing in the light at the end of the tunnel and that love will win out, whether in this life or the next.
Thegetting up and going
SometimesI wondered if
Ihad any faith.
Isat down and thought about it.
Andwhen I had had enough
ofthat I got up
andwent on my way.
Andthat—the getting up
~from YES, WORLD by Mary Jean Irion, as reprinted in AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL byMarv and Nancy Hiles