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Maintaining hope

Gardeners are facing challenges with the weather this year. It seemed like we were getting great conditions in April and May. The weather was warm and we were getting some good rains. Then sometime in June the rain stopped. It got so dry that I didn’t have to cut the grass. While I enjoyed the break, the garden was not happy at all. I was having to water quite a bit to keep the vegetable garden alive and growing.
The daylilies and other flowers have suffered quite a bit too. We also have many potted plants on the patio and front porch which have required many evenings outside watering. The recent cooler temperatures and rain have helped to revive both the flower and vegetable gardens. I’ve also noticed the grass has greened up and will require some mowing soon. I wish we could get some regular showers to help things through the hot summer days.
Despite the dryness, my garden has been producing some good vegetables. We’ve enjoyed peas, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, a few squash, and most recently, some corn; but please don’t tell the raccoons. Over the weekend, I cleaned out the areas where the peas and potatoes were and planted some more corn. I am hoping for a fall crop. When the corn finishes up I intend to plant some string beans and butter beans there.
The two reasons I like to plant a garden is that I thoroughly enjoy watching things grow and I want to enjoy harvesting and eating what I grow. Getting to eat what I grow can be a real challenge in my yard because of the competition. There is a turtle that likes to eat my melons, but we have been able to share the harvest. As previously mentioned, the raccoons have eaten all my corn on more than one occasion. Recently I posted a picture on Facebook of a deer standing in the middle of my garden chomping away. The deer have been quite pesky this year despite some efforts to keep them away.
The weather and wildlife are trying to keep me away from what I hoped to experience; a harvest. I believe there is a spiritual correlation to this natural phenomenon that occurs in my backyard. I hope to grow spiritually and become more connected with God. I believe God hopes for the same thing. The trouble is the enemy will do anything to keep that from happening. He will send distractions, temptations, and even some good things I can do if they will keep me away from God.
The two most difficult things that can hamper our spiritual walks are when our health is not good and we find ourselves trapped in negative behaviors. It’s during those times that our hope is attacked. Hope is a desire or feeling that something good is going to happen. We have to fight to maintain our hope, that the future will be better. We have to believe that God is with us, and that He will not forsake us.
The Bible teaches us that hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. If we build our lives on the hope of Jesus Christ then we will be able to stand through the storms of life. If you have lived long enough, you know that there will always be difficult times. No matter what you might be facing right now, hope in a good and faithful God will sustain you.
Having a positive outlook and believing and trusting in God in even the direst of circumstances are true signs of hope. Reminding yourself of how God has come through for you in the past or how he helped another through similar circumstances will help to build your hope. He is our hope and our deliverer and He never fails.
Why do people plant a garden? They hope they will have a harvest. If you are facing difficult circumstances, I want to encourage you to build your hope. Read the scriptures that remind you that you will have the victory and allow that to help build your faith in God. Faith and hope have the power to get you through any circumstance. God is greater than anything you are up against and if He is with you, (and I promise you if you will call upon Him, He will be with you) you will overcome, you will succeed, and you will find the victory. Hope is the balloon that will lift you out of your circumstances into the loving presence of God.
Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is located at www.dougcreamer.com Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email doug@dougcreamer.com

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