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Doug Creamer: Are you ready?

            Please don’t be jealous, but we are enjoying some late-season tomatoes. Many gardeners have cleaned out their gardens for the year, but I still had some green tomatoes on the vines. In fact, my tomatoes seem to be making a comeback. My vines are growing new shoots and blossoms. I don’t imagine the late blossoms will make before the frost, but we are enjoying some delicious late tomatoes.
            I called my Mom to gloat a little today, but she has some volunteer cherry tomatoes that are covered with fruit. Last time I saw her we got a bunch of little tomatoes and we made a nice fresh sauce to put over some pasta. We bought some lettuce, Swiss chard and broccoli plants last weekend; we are hoping for some late fall or even early winter treats from the garden.
            Who knows what will happen? I know Mother Nature can be fickle and send us some frost to put an end to the growing season, but until she does I am going to hold out some hope for a continual harvest from my garden. I forgot to mention that I have some pretty butterbeans coming along. I hope the deer and the cold weather will leave them alone.
            I know there are seasons in nature; there are also seasons in our spiritual lives. There are times when we bud and begin growing after a long dormant season, which is followed by strong growth and ultimately, fruit. The fruitful season is often followed by a quiet decline before winter sets in once again. Our job is to maintain our faith through the seasons of life.
            The question is; are we ready to serve, to help, to give an answer to those who ask about why we have hope in our soul? It doesn’t matter what season we find ourselves in, do we have a testimony about the goodness of God for the lost and hungry soul? Can we be a life preserver and a beacon of hope for those lost in the storms of life? Even when you are dry and struggling is there still a cup of hope hidden in your soul for the thirsty?
            When things are going great it is easy to share our faith with others. God will open doors for us and He will use us to encourage and pray with those who are lost or struggling. We can have a great impact for the Kingdom and be a blessing to others when we are in our spiritual summers. How do we do when we are struggling ourselves? What happens to our testimony when times are tough?
            We all go through tough times. Sometimes our problems are with family, health issues, financial struggles, or doubts and fears. When we are facing huge obstacles, how does our faith appear to others? When we are walking through the fire, do we still have hope? Can we still point the way to Jesus when our own path feels a little rocky and unsure?
            God needs us to be hope and light when others are in the midst of personal tragedy or deep suffering. When they are looking for answers they cannot find, He wants to send you and me with the answers to life’s problems and difficulties. Sometimes it is not just our words but our actions that show our faith to the downtrodden. Offering a helping hand and words of love can comfort and help restore a broken soul.
When tragedies like the hurricanes or the earthquakes happen we have an opportunity to show God’s love. When people are suffering, they need someone to demonstrate God’s love in a practical way. When people are dealing with loss, whether personal property or loved ones, they need someone to lean on, or even to carry them through their hardships. God needs you and me to be ready no matter what season we are in to offer love, faith, and comfort. We have the Spirit in us and even if we feel inadequate God can use us if we make ourselves available to Him.
            I want to encourage you to be ready in season or out to let your light shine brightly in this dark world. People are hungry for hope as they struggle with the difficulties of life. We have the hope and the love they need. We have the peace that surpasses all understanding. You don’t have to look far to discover someone who needs a friend or a helping hand. God may be calling you to be the hope and light they need. Open your heart and share His love and grace.
Contact Doug  at doug@dougcreamer.com

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