This is my second installment on hope. It’s actually something I wrote about 15 years ago. It was during a unique period of my life and something I thought worth sharing given that I am currently on the hope theme.
Hope is not something that can be grasped or strained for. It is like a gentle spring breeze that blows passed you just when you thought winter would never end. It is the moment of complete peace, almost emptiness, you feel when diving into cool clear water on a hot day. The sensation of floating on the water… .silence.. .peace. The luxury of the moment, lacking the baggage of yesterday and the drain of tomorrow; after all the prayer, all the tears, all the plans, it slips in. Unnoticed it moves to your bedside, finding you there with nothing left to hold on to. Sweet peace silently rests its hand upon your heart and unexpectedly, completely unearned, fills your whole life with four words—”It will be alright”. Never was hope so beautiful, never so full of grace and mercy.
Springtime was never so beautiful, never so magical as just after a harsh winter. I never appreciate spring as much as those first few days. The smell of life in the air, the hint of warmth to come, and the promise of beauty on its way; it is like all of creation has awoken from a long slumber. There is a promise in springtime like no other season—life from death. New buds have formed and new babies are to come. The trees that bore the weight of many snow falls, barren and devoid of life, have with one gentle breeze begun to show signs of life.
I wonder what would run through a child’s mind the very first time he fully experiences spring. He remembers the joy of running in the summer sun. His parents and friends playing games, swimming and rolling in the grass. He picked flowers with his mom and took long hikes with his dad. Watching squirrels scamper about and eating fresh fruit. Then slowly it becomes colder and the flowers die and the trees begin to lose their leaves. The animals slowly disappear and dreams of swimming begin to fade. Now all he sees are dead trees and leaves. Some days it is too cold to play. “Mommy, I miss the Sun, When is it coming back?” “It’s here you just don’t feel it as much as you did. Just wait for the Spring.” As time goes by he wonders whether Spring will ever come. An eternity passes and death has prevailed. The young child who has never seen SpringLife rise from Winterdeath is sure his days in the sun are over!
Then on one unexpected day, he feels a warm breeze brush against his face. For the first time he notices the buds on the trees, the sprouts in the ground, and the bird songs in the air. He breaths in deeply and to his wondrous surprise he smells life. Quite unexpectedly Spring slipped in right under his nose. Oh the joy that fills his little heart. Spring had come! Just as promised… it came! He squeals with joy and dances into the house and then briefly he stops. His little mind flooded with a tremendous thought. How could such beauty spring up out of such deadness? How could it spring up without warning? The thought rushed out as quickly as it appeared and the boy comes running in to tell his mom, “The Sun is back!”
There is a verse that says God will make the Valley of Troubles a Door of Hope. Never is hope more precious than when we are without it. Never is hope so sweet as when it appears unexpectedly. When we realize that there is nothing we can do to regain the hope that we have lost. When we are at that point, when we feel that nothing will ever bring us happiness again and in a flash, there is a glimmer of light upon the horizon during the darknest night of our lives. When the hand of time is fixed upon midnight and despite the laws of life, light breaks forth. It is in those moments that I am thankful for the God of Springtime.
There is no formula, no path that leads from the Winters of our lives. Warm clothes will give us solace. A snowball fight or too can bring some happiness. A magestic snowfall can provide momentary peace, but it is only the sweet breeze of spring that can revive our souls. Only the sweet dew of morning can cause life to bud through the deadness of a despairing heart. No, there is nothing we can do but wait. “The Sun is still here. The Sun will come. And Life will spring up once again!” The winds of Hope will once again blow by and catch you by surprise.