“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, ‘Behold, you are barren and have no children, but you shall become pregnant and bear a son.’”
Judges 13: 3, Amplified Bible
“It Will Be Accomplished”
“Out of the strain of the doing
Into the peace of the done.”
What would I like God to accomplish in my life?
Do I believe God has already planted His seed of hope for what He can bring to pass in my life?
“God of hope, come! Enter into this heart of mine which often loses itself in self, missing the message of Your encouragement because I am so entangled in the web of my own whirl of life. Enable me to not lose sight of the power of Your presence or the truth of Your consolation.”
Out of the Ordinary
“Where’s the strength to keep my hopes up? What future do I have to keep me going? Do you think I have nerves of steel? Do you think I’m made of iron? Do you think I can pull myself up by my bootstraps? Why, I don’t even have any boots!”
Job 6: 11, The Message
The words above were spoken by Job during some of the most difficult days one can imagine – the total loss of all his children and all his possessions. We find Job left on earth with only a grouchy wife and three lousy friends. In blunt language he asks questions that I know I’ve asked myself. Have you had these questions run through your mind, too? Maybe you have even screamed the words to God in utter pain and disillusionment. For you feel barren, alone, and forgotten. Totally empty – drained dry!
Anyone who has ever felt the emptiness that comes with loss, betrayal, desertion, or even loneliness – not only understands Job – you’ve walked the path he traveled.
But like Job, I have personally come to believe our great God has planted within us a tiny seed. And yes, there are times that seed is so small, I may think it will die. Then just at the right moment, as with Manoah’s wife (“Faithful”); the spring of water from God’s love, enriches the soil of our lives. An angel from heaven came and told her a seed was sprouting and growing.
Listen to Job as he reflects on what he learned through a time of desolate emptiness:
“Hold your tongue while I have my say…because even if God killed me, I’d keep on hoping…this is going to work out for the best!” (Job 13: 15, The Message).
This is the belief that Manoah’s wife (“Faithful”) had as she waited for God’s seed of hope to grow in her life. One day, the heavenly messenger arrived and informed her that God would accomplish “all” in her life she had been waiting for and dreaming of. God’s seed! It’s the same one He has planted in your heart and mine. It is a seed of hope – that lifts us above the abandonment and barrenness of disappointing circumstances and gives us a glimpse of the possible…the potential God will accomplish in us. In the words of Jeremiah, “I know what I am doing, I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” (Jeremiah 29:11, The Message).
When I was a young girl, our family lived in Oxnard, California, surrounded by fields and fields of strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, and lima beans. This area still continues to be a fertile region, providing produce and fruit to the entire country.
One of our closest family friends, Ed Gregory, owned a ranch that grew lemons and avocadoes. Often on the weekends we’d go out to Ed’s country property and have lunch, feasting off the delicacies harvested fresh that day.
On one visit, Ed had just gotten a small “ATV” he proudly wanted to show me. I hopped on the back and rode behind him as we bounced through the meticulously manicured orchards. As Ed pointed out small avocadoes hanging on the trees, I could tell that farming was as they say, “In his blood.”
When we got back to the house I asked him, “Well, are you going to have a good harvest this year?”
With a wry smile and twinkle in his eyes he said, “I sure hope so!”
Every year, Ed worked those orchards, driven by the power of hope. Hoping it wouldn’t freeze. Hoping the rains would come. Hoping for the day when he could call the crews to come pick the fruit. Hoping for a plentiful harvest.
Today, I encourage you to cultivate the seed of hope God has planted in your heart. Nurture it with His Word. Water it with His Love. Then trust that God is at work – even in your darkest, most empty moments. As Jeremiah reminds us: “I will watch over (her) for (her) good, and I will bring (her) back…I will build (her) up…I will plant (her)…I will give (her) a heart to know me” (Jeremiah 24: 6-8, New International Version).
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour (Deliverer) and my God.”
Psalm 42: 5, N.I.V.
“When hope does awaken, an entire life awakens along with it. One comes fully to life. It begins to seem indeed that one has never lived before…Wherever hope rises, life rises.”
John S. Dunne
The Reasons of the Heart
“Hope, like the gleaming taper’s light, adorns and cheers our way; and still, as darker grows the night, emits a brighter ray.”
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit:hwww.direct2church.com or email [email protected].
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.