Although most of the Midwest is in denial, spring truly is just around the corner. A ray of sunshine actually made me feel warm today! Anyway, my favorite season is upon us, but with it comes a burden of homesickness for a place I only ever spent one spring: The Netherlands.
But it was a magical spring… the tulips and vibrant budding trees. The warm Sunday afternoons in the garden and smiles from passerbys on daily bike routes. Spring truly does something to a person– a revival in spirit and hope. And even though there wasn’t a shared language to express this intangible joy, it could be felt and heard in upbeat tones of passing “hallo!”s and “Doei!”s (goodbye). And still, 8 years later, spring brings a hollow ache in my heart for a people and place a hop, skip and an ocean away.
As we continue to take steps toward life and ministry in the Netherlands– this tiny but mighty country– some days feel like one stride forward and two back. Some days hope is a burning flame and others it is but a flickering light. The dreamer in me bucks the process and responsible steps that need to be taken (who really needs a visa anyway?! Jk…but seriously doesn’t it count for something that my ancestors came from there?)
On a day in a month with very little movement forward, I received this beautiful painting from a friend who knows my heart. She wanted to help keep my hope alive. She wanted me to remember what was ahead. What a gift.
In the midst of waiting, I cling to the answered prayers and clarity God has provided. I know He has called us there, but I also know His timing will be best. I celebrate His faithfulness and obvious miracles that have us this far on a journey that started 8 springtimes ago.
But in all this hoping and waiting, God is teaching me so clearly to also hope in today. To open my eyes to the smaller victories in this very moment and place. To fix my attention and energy on the things before me… the people in my life TODAY, the ministry He has entrusted me with, my family, my work, my attitude, my patience, my words.
The future is dependent on how we steward today.
I often get my head stuck in the clouds, forgetting it is just as important that I be obedient to God in this very moment as it is to be obedient in the seemingly big things ahead.
So 3 thoughts for today…
1) Are you losing hope in something? How can you remember God’s faithfulness and cling to what He has called you to, even in the waiting?
2) How can you hope in today? What is God inviting you to be obedient in right now?
3) Do you have a friend waiting? How can you encourage them to keep hope alive?