I changed my desktop picture this week…

from this:IMG_2077

to this:IMG_0290_2

Now whenever I boot up, these rapturous rhodies spill hope between porch rails onto sun-warmed steps before me, and I’m cheered.

Winter starts getting long now, here in this northern state. And the delight of first, second, and nineteenth snowfall is fading in my hunger for warmth in the air and life showing green in rich soil.

So I gave myself the present of the forward look.

They had the forward look…

Paul wrote to them about it:

“We give thanks to God always for you all…, remembering without ceasing
            your work of faith,
            labor of love,
            and patience of hope” (1 Thes 1:2-3)

The wealth in these three golden phrases somehow passed me by in my former readings of his first letter to the Thessalonians. Each deserves a prolonged ponder, and the first two bear some dissecting. But that third one’s what sings to me this morning—this sharp and shivering morning of white hills and gray twigs and long shadows.

“What a bunch!” I think, reading on (1 Thes 1:6-10).  “What a glorious bunch they were!” New but already deep-rooted in faith, glowing with love, sparkling with hope, filled with “joy of the Holy Spirit,” even in “much affliction”! So bright their reflected light, it flashed out to provinces around.

Yesterday He told me he’d spotted teeny green spikes of snowdrops in the patio flower bed, but that the cold snap withered them right back down. I feel like that. Even the idea of venturing out on errands, nostrils streaming frost-air clouds, makes me shrink back down in, too.

But on the dining table, nurtured in house warmth, japonica I snipped for the weekend  shows increasing signs of the joy to come. More buds swelling into ivory every day.



Hope is like that isn’t it? 

Not just vain, fairy-tale hope. Hope so real you can almost trace its contours with your fingers. Hope that “does not disappoint” (Rom 5:5), “sure hope” (Heb 6:17-20 ESV), evidenced by the buds and blooms of patient perseverance it brings forth. Nurtured by the warmth of His encompassing love, drinking deep from His wellspring, it bears and multiplies its evidence. Steadfast endurance to keep holding on, even “in much affliction,” comes from knowing it’s coming, that time of new life and bright joy.

Looking with joy to the God of hope this winter morning.


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9 thoughts on “Hope Overspilling

  1. Beauteous, Sylvie. I love how God always speaks to me in flowers flowering… especially how he revives them when they look like they might not bloom. Hope, indeed.

    Color lifts the heart, but as I draw more and more in pen and ink, I do see something so lovely and warm in black and grays and whites. Something pure. I was hoping to get your print mailed today and of all things – it’s a postal holiday! And tomorrow they are predicting icy roads. Soon, though! 🙂

  2. The patience of hope — SURE hope. I love that! You and I were both forward-looking today, weren’t we? Thanks for visiting. Great to “meet” you!

  3. Hi Pam!
    They make beautiful parable material, don’t they—flowers? And their fresh blooms always hint hope, I think.
    I have long loved the precise black and white of pen-and-ink drawings, and even black and white photos. I think we usually notice the details better without the distraction of color. I once heard an accomplished quilter speak, a woman whose quilts were featured on display at the White House. She said people repeatedly
    complimented her on her wonderful “color sense,” not knowing she was color blind!
    (And not to worry about mailing out, especially on an ice day! Stay warm, dry, and safe. And maybe work on another beautiful pen-and-ink! 🙂

  4. That was exactly what I thought, Laura, when I saw your title at the Wellspring, then when I read your post!
    Lovely to look forward in hope together—so nice to “meet” you!

  5. At first I thought you had changed the header of your blog and I was dismayed. I love coming here and seeing your silver pen. I was glad it was still there. I hope it always is, smile.

  6. I forgot about your “sylver pen” being like the pen and ink too ” 🙂 Yes, in fact, I have been working on some more drawings and need to get a post or two written too… Thanks, Sylvia.

  7. Where would we be without hope!?! What a great reflection on that verse and I would agree that photos of warmer days in full bloom are needed this time of year (I keep going back to our days at the beach! 🙂
    Keep up the God work.

  8. Hope is the gift that begins to give long before we receive it… I feel that way about summer in Arizona. Not sure we’d be perfectly satisfied anywhere? We humans are like that in this fallen world… Our hope is in Him.

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