I scoured the bush, looking for any sign of life. The recent long, hard freeze decimated my landscaping. Living in a sub-tropical climate, my plants do not handle freezing temperatures well and our last freeze had lasted over 60 hours dropping down into the low teens.
My husband and I had mulched the roots and covered the more sensitive plants; however, once we removed the tarps everything looked brown with no signs of life.
We hold out hope that life is still there. Waiting is hard. This morning I combed each branch of my husband’s favorite bush looking for any sign of new life. And there it was…a tiny new bud pushing its way out among the dead leaves.
How often do we feel that way in our spiritual lives? We walk through a very difficult trial and wonder if we will ever see the other side. Perhaps a deep friendship suffers a disappointment, a job gets cut unexpectedly, a doctor’s report paralyzes our ability to think, or the postal carrier delivers an unexpected bill. Whatever the situation, we often feel trapped. No hope in sight. But God.
God knows what challenges we face before we do and holds the answer. The question is whether we turn to Him in those times. When we rely on our own strength during trials, we may see some improvement; however, only God produces true life and growth that endures. Often our own answers prevent God from doing a more amazing work than we can see from our limited vantage point.
In John 10:10, Jesus promises that enduring, abundant life. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” The enemy of our souls loves nothing more than to prevent us from flourishing. He comes to steal our joy, health, relationships, and finances. However, Jesus promises us life and that in abundance.
When taking stock of our life, like I did my plants, we may see only decay and little opportunity for hope. Yet, that is only the enemy lying to us. That is not what God says of our situation. Numbers 23:19 reminds us that God keeps His promises. “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”
If you are walking through a challenging time, remember that God is on your side and He will bring life abundantly to your situation, if you trust in Him and claim the promises found in His Word. Turn a deaf ear to the enemy, meditate on Scripture, and you will see signs of life and hope in your situation.