Hope Among the Decay
"And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee." Psalm 39:7
If one more soccer ball crashes against our disintegrating patio cover, it might collapse. At our house, that’s every 2 minutes. I’ve learned not to judge other mammas. But, seriously...why did this sweetie choose such a precarious place to nest her egg?!
We named her Penelope. She’s the best little mamma, tirelessly tending to the hope beneath her. She wants to be ready when life breaks through. Her delicate frame flutters about, eyes watching for the slightest movement. She rests, but not for long.
Her focus is constant.
My focus has changed.
Instead of wishing we’d tear down our patio cover and replace it with beautiful wood, now I’m praying it stays up. I’m rooting for the budding life, cupped in splintered hands. My eyes go straight to the nest now.
I no longer look at the defective, but at the life I’ve detected. I love sitting under my creaky shade--cup of coffee in hand--watching with my feathered soul sister for the birth of new life.
We’re so eager to tear down things that aren’t perfectly lovely in our life. We don’t want to look at rickety boards and chipped paint. We don’t want to have awkward conversations and squint to see potential.
Nurturing hope is intentional work. The world doesn’t have patience for this. It preaches,
If your marriage is struggling, tear it down.
If your friend betrays you, close the door.
If your dream shreds easily, throw it out.
If your ministry doesn’t grow, give up.
This is the world’s way. It is not God’s way.
Don’t bring in the demolition crew so quickly. Look for life--even if the promise is huddled in a fragile shell.
When the Lord brought Ezekiel to a valley of dry bones, he asked,
“Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel answered, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” (Ezekiel 37:3)
And God did know.
He spoke to the bones,
“I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” (Ezekiel 37:6b)
Ezekiel saw dry bones. God saw an opportunity for a miracle. Anyone can bring death to a situation. Only God can bring life.
Walking away from a valley of dry bones is not God’s way.
Breathing life into them is God’s way.
Raising the dead is His way.
Letting a baby bird hatch in a termite palace, is His way.
Hover over these truths. Be patient. Keep praying. Ask for God’s spirit to breathe into every situation.
Try not to focus on broken boards framing the circumstances. Choose to find the nesting egg, the dry bones that God can bring to life.
Always tend to the hope among the decay.
If you do, you’ll be ready to welcome new life like Penelope.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
by Jenna Masters