Blades of Hope

I am not a great yard guy. Actually, I’m not a yard guy at all, unless you count the fact that I mow on an irregular basis. That said, a couple of months ago our neighbors had put out seed or fertilizer or something, and their yard began to look really good. So, I decided that I should attempt to do the same for our’s. I borrowed the neighbors spreader, bought some fertilizer that indicated that it was the type to be used in the winter months (the irony of that where we live is another topic!). I covered the lawn, back and front.

Now its a couple of months later and do you know what’s happening? New blades of grass are sprouting up around my yard. Among the yellow and brown and older green parts of the lawn there are bright green blades of new growth. I’m not sure that this will spread across the whole yard or not, but I have more hope now than I did, say 3 months ago.

Sometimes new growth begins slowly and even sporadically. And that is true for my lawn as well as my soul.

I know the hope and desire God has for us. I know that life at its very best comes as we are transformed into the likeness of God’s son, Jesus. When our life looks like his then we will know God much the same way Jesus did. I also know this transformation only happens by God’s grace and the power of God’s Holy Spirit. What I easily forget is that new growth can begin slowly and often sporadically.

Right now, if I looked at my lawn and compared it to the neighbor down the street, I wouldn’t feel very good about where my lawn is. My lawn doesn’t look like his – at all. But, if I looked at my lawn and saw that it was getting better, if I looked at my lawn and realized I was making progress toward having a great lawn, if I looked and saw those blades of hope popping up around the lawn, then I could rejoice in the progress and I could have a real sense of hope for the lawn I hope to have.

Right now, as I look at the life Jesus lived and who he is, I don’t always feel very good about where my life is. My life is so very far from the life Jesus lived. But, in these past few months I have been working the spiritual soil of my soul – more intentional in my prayer time and in how I live my life. And, while I am still far from being seen as “like Jesus”, I do see blades of hope popping up in my life. I see relationships that were mostly superficial beginning to get more real and more significant. I experience more of God’s presence and power in places where I never have before. I find myself engaging others in conversation and helping when in the past I might have just nodded and passed by. And as I look at my life I begin to realize, I may not be there yet, but if I keep allowing God to work on me – and work IN me – then there is a real hope for me to be transformed more and more, and maybe one day get to that place of being “like Jesus”.

Maybe you’ve been striving to live life in ways that bring you closer to God. Are you disheartened because your life is still so far from what it should be? Or, are you beginning to see some changes in your life? Do you have a greater sense of joy? Are you more aware of those around you who are in need or who are hurting? Do you find yourself avoiding the things you know God would prefer you avoided?

It may just be small ways right now, but even so, I encourage you to look at those places in your life where you ARE becoming more like Jesus and realize that transformation can take time and it often happens sporadically.

Let those new bright green blades popping up be a sign to you of great things to come.

Holy high-five to you,
Mike

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