Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hope Springs Eternal

Moscow is teasing us with Spring right now.  Two weeks ago I thought maybe I could retire my snow boots and winter coat.  Today I wake up to the third day of April blanketed in snow.  Ugh.  I literally looked out of the kitchen window today and said, “Come on, God!  Aren’t we done with this mess yet?  Tomorrow is Easter!”

It’s pretty, though, I’ll give it that. 

Each branch of the birch trees outside of my kitchen window is laced with the glistening white making even this grey morning a little easier to look at.  The temperature is hovering around the freezing mark so there is slush, not ice, covering the walking path.  That’s a positive, too.

Yes, I am trying to be optimistic. 

It’s easy to find things to complain about.  The moisture in the air makes it difficult, even dangerous, for me to breathe.  Cold, damp air and asthma are not good friends. The slushy walkways are bothersome and messy.  The students have been cooped up inside the building since October and we are all victims of cabin fever.  The sun has surely gone on vacation somewhere because it is not seen here.  Every day is covered with clouds.  This is the monotonous part of the year when the whole world is just stuck in a rut and done, done, done! 

But it’s Spring.  And Spring is so full of promise I can’t be dreary for long.

Maybe it’s because I’ve lived so many Springs that I can find hope.  I know it won’t always be this way.  The earth will move on its path toward the sun and with the longer days will come more sunshine which will warm the air and put away the snow and make the tulips blooms. Even if we can’t see it shining brightly each day, the sun is there.  I know this because I have seen it time and again.

I know the same thing about God.  Sometimes it seems like God is on vacation.  He has left us in a rut of cold, messy problems and He has gone on vacation taking the light and warmth with Him. 

But He hasn’t left us.  He isn’t unconcerned with our situations.  He is only a whisper away. 

When I was going through a very difficult time in my life and it seemed like all I did was cry, a friend told me something about the closeness of God that gave me great comfort. 

There are several verses that talk about how much God loves us which use the word “ahav” to describe that love.  Bible scholars can feel free to call me out, but this is my interpretation of what I remember being taught.  Ahav means love that is given and received continually.  

For example, “Proverbs 8:17  I love (ahav) them that love (ahav) me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”  This verse looks pretty straight forward full of love from God to anyone who is looking for Him.  But when we add the meaning ahav to the mix, it means that God is so close that when we breathe out, He breathes in.  When we cry, our tears are also on His face.  

He loves us so much and is so close that He feels and sees everything in real time with us. 

When life is difficult, He is there. When life is great, He is there.  Unchanging.  We can’t always see Him, but that’s not because He has distanced Himself from us. 

It might look like it will never be Spring in Moscow today, but be sure you can count on the season to change.  It might look like God is far away today, but be assured He is with you. 

That is the message of Easter.  Hope.  Jesus died on Friday at Calvary.  It looked like all was lost.  But on Sunday morning, He rose again giving us hope beyond this life.  Beyond today’s struggles.  Beyond a life of difficulties. 


I pray you find the same hope in your life.  I pray you see Him offering a hand of grace to you wherever you are.  You might be a lifetime subscriber to Christianity who has lived a good life wondering why a calamity has befallen you.  You might be a lost soul trying to believe that God would forgive you. 

He is there.  Breathing in when you breathe out.  Feeling your tears on His face.

Take a chance.  Believe in Him.  Accept His gift.  Experience Easter.

Visit my website for more information about my Moscow ministry:  Writer's Pages