“Wherever the hope of glory lives, hopelessness passes away.”
Nadine C. Keels
Upon moving to Nebraska from Arizona, we were instructed not to plant flowers till Mother’s Day. We were encouraged to wait because frosts could occur up to that date. Galatians 6:7 says we reap what we sow. If you plant tomato seeds, you will harvest tomatoes. It’s equally important to observe what seeds we plant in the garden of our heart. Hopelessness will sprout up if we plant the following seeds.
When John was beginning his residency, we asked a seasoned resident for his words of wisdom on how to survive the next five years. He told me to have no expectations. John may call and say he’s on his way home and then get paged to return to the hospital. While it’s nearly impossible to have absolutely no expectations, I’ve learned holding tightly onto them causes grave disappointment. The higher our expectations are, the greater our disappointment will be. Sometimes we need to let go of our longings and place them on the altar, just as Abraham did with his son Isaac. Surrender your dreams to God. Instead of gripping your wishes in a clenched fist, try holding them loosely in opened hands. Your heart will be happy you did.
If you plant the seed of keeping your pain inside, you will reap despair. Several years ago I experienced a long 4-year trial. I felt as if I were in a pressure cooker, being pulled and stretched emotionally and spiritually. Great loss plagued me with a heaviness and for some reason, I felt I had to be the strong one. I held my pain inside thinking it would help those I loved.
Towards the end of that season, I went on a short-term mission trip to Mozambique. We had a guest speaker from India and at the end of his message he instructed us to place our hands upon our hearts while he prayed. When I did it was like the dam of pain within me broke and I sobbed and sobbed. Grief from the previous four years gushed out.
Pain needs to be lanced like a boil, releasing all the hurt so our wounds can be healed. Loss has to be grieved. We have to let go of the pain inside of us. If we don’t, it will fester and cause us to become hopeless and depressed. I process my heart through journaling. Even though the Lord knows everything I’m thinking, feeling and experiencing, it’s Him that I pour out my heart to.
As planting season is upon us, look within your heart and discern what kinds of seeds you’re planting. Hold your desires loosely in the palm of your hand and let your pain out. Your heart garden will then reap a harvest of hope.
“Some see a hopeless end, while others see an endless hope.”
1. What expectations are you holding onto with clenched fists?