Chrissy Mayer, GFC Temple Terrace
I love how God is always longing to speak to us. To be with us. Meeting us in the small and mundane, especially in those moments we struggle to see Him most. Struggle to find hope. But, I believe these everyday opportunities – if we are watchful – hold some of the biggest hints of His glory. That is how He reveals Himself most often.
In the fall of 2004 I found myself on my first mission trip. I had been working for a global missions organization for several months that paired American sponsors with indigenous pastors so they could work full time in ministry and support their families. And here I was – meeting some of the pastors and their families I had come to know so well through written stories and quarterly updates.
Our team set out for a week, with a group of these local pastors, to camp out and minister in the bush. One warm afternoon, while I was out walking, kicking up dust upon dust, I looked around at the bleakness of the land. As far as the eye could see there was dirt. And dust. And one small clay hut with a thatched roof made of straw. Several kiddos that had no clothes, let alone shoes, played outside with balls made of trash and rubber bands. The level of poverty was nothing like I had experienced before.
“God, where are you?”, I began thinking to myself. From where I stand, circumstances appear so hopeless.
“I know you say you are here, and I know you say you are always at work – But God, I need you to help me see you!”
At just that moment I looked down at my own very dirty feet, just before stubbing my toe on a rock. I laid eyes on the most beautiful single rose. One single stemmed rose stood tall – surrounded by only dust and dirt and rock. It was the most bizarre thing I’d ever seen.
One of the pastors said “Isn’t that something? The rumor here is no one knows who planted it and no one knows who cultivates it. But here it is. Against all odds.”
God was whispering something to my heart in that ordinary moment. It was beautiful. Poetic. Full of hope. So I did what any of us would have done – I had to take a picture. And though I had no idea why – I kept the photo safe – buried deep inside a wooden chest every year since.
Until the summer of 2020…
Like most of us, we had barely made it through the month of June. Our family had been quarantined together for 52 days.
Yes I counted every-single-one-of-those-fifty-two-days.
My husband, myself, a seven year old, and twin three year olds. All doing the work, the school, the pivoting and managing; while the grieving of lives lost, the devastation, anger and hatred, the fear of the unknown and the striving to hold onto what was.
One afternoon, I managed to escape for a walk. I needed to be alone with all my thoughts, and the good Lord knows, I needed all the fresh air and vitamin D.
“God what are you up to? Where are you? Jesus be near!”
That afternoon I took the long way around the neighborhood. I decided to go down one more street. One I didn’t normally venture to because it was mostly out of the way. Just as I turned the corner, something grabbed my eye. I could hardly believe it. I hadn’t seen anything like it before – so bizarre. As I walked up closer to get a better look, “How in the world?”.
God quickly whispered to my heart, “Remember the rose?”.
Here I was again, in an ordinary moment, standing in front of what appeared to be impossible -all the while in the midst of an impossible year. And here was another flower. It too had defied all odds and willed its way to break through the concrete! There were no cracks surrounding it where a seed could have easily fallen through.
This thing done busted right through!
“But how God? How can life spring forth from something so hard? How can something so beautiful and promising breakthrough and rise up out of circumstances so bleak?”.
I now know why I hung onto the picture of that rose for so long.
Because our hearts long to hold onto hope.
But how quick we are to forget that Hope is always Here!
Hebrew 10:23 “Let us hold resolutely to the Hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”
I don’t know what your circumstances currently look like this Christmas season or what you may be struggling with, but today I believe God wants to remind you that even in the middle of what appear desolate and hopeless, on the days you struggle the most to find Hope that …
He is working while we wait! (Isaiah 11:1-2)
He is making a way where there seems to be no way! (Isaiah 43:18-19)
He is with us! (Romans 15: 12-13)
I pray this Christmas season that your heart would find rest in the truth that Hope came, Hope is Here and Hope is coming again! Praying for you dear sis.
- Read through the verses mentioned
- Journal through the following questions
What circumstances or relationships currently appear overwhelmingly bleak, cut off, or hopeless?
Remember: Where have you seen God show up and do the unexpected or impossible in the past?
Recognize: Where can you see Him showing up or carrying you through today? Where is God meeting you in the small and ordinary moments?
Request, Ready Yourself, Rest Easy: What are you hopeful, expectant, praying for? Who are you becoming while you wait? Are you in a position to receive that which you are praying for?