This beautiful little amaryllis appeared on our kitchen counter a couple of weeks ago. There was no note, no indication of who offered us this lovely gift of hope.
It was only a couple of green shoots back then, not more than six inches tall. Still, it held the same promise of hope that spring does. Now, it has taken up residence in the dining room where it can receive the warm spring sunshine from the west-facing windows. It has more than tripled in size and five of the six buds have started to open.
When one looks past this beauty through the window, though, what we see is snow and bare trees. This crimson and green promise of spring stands in stark contrast to the reality of a stubborn winter that has yet to let go. It serves as a reminder that winter will not last forever, even though it may seem as though it will.
Scripture tells us to hope for what we cannot see. (Romans 8:25) And that is true whether we are hoping for spring to arrive, hoping for the thousands of big and little things that we hope for throughout our lives, or hoping for eternal life. We want to “see”, to experience or receive, each of these things we hope for but do not yet see.
We don’t hope for things we know we will never have, and we don’t hope for things we already have. Hope is partly dependent on our belief that those things hoped for will one day be available to us, and that takes trust.
When winter drags on as it does, it may feel as though hope is all we have left. But we also have the reassurance of experience that tells us spring always comes, eventually. And so we trust in that experience.
In a little more than three weeks we will again celebrate Easter. It serves to remind us that when our lives drag on, when they become painful or burdensome, we live in hope of our own Easter, our own resurrection. Yet we also have the assurance of God’s promise that one day we will experience that resurrection. And so we trust in that promise.
For the gifts of hope and trust, and for the blessed reminders we receive that keep us living in hope and trust, we say Deo Gratias!