April is the month in which we begin to exhale. The exodus out of the winter doldrums has finally begun with certainty and we joyfully say good-bye to the gray and dull landscape of barren trees, dirty roads, and brown hills. The fragrance of the hyacinths and fresh spring air are nearly intoxicating as we stroll along the garden path. We delight in the cheerful yellow daffodils and the multi-colored tulips that seem to have magically appeared and shout, “For lo the winter is past!” An excitement begins to energize us as we anticipate the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. We have a renewed sense of hope!
Hope – such a powerful, motivating force. Without it we sink in the mire and get stuck in all that is discouraging. Proverbs 12:13 says, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” There are times when we go through cold, dark days, regardless of the season. While there, we struggle to move forward, to dream of and work toward building a future. It is only when we catch a glimmer of hope that this season ends. This ray of hope can come in many different forms: a loving reminder that someone cares; a long-awaited answer; an unfulfilled longing met; awareness that we are not in this chaos alone. As I look back, I am grateful for those who carried this message to me and were the impetus to turn things around. I, too, want to be a giver of hope when I see another soul struggling as I have.
God is in this business of being a giver of hope as well. Consider the promise found in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” What an encouragement to all of us, that the all-knowing, all-powerful, ever present God of the universe has a plan for each of us and it’s a good one.
As we enjoy all the wonders of creation declaring its splendor this season, may we be reminded of the one who made it all and who loves us beyond anything we can imagine. May we all be hopeful because of it and in turn be His instruments to deliver a message of hope to a sometimes dark and dreary world.