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Doug Creamer: Hope

Doug Creamer

Last weekend I decided it was time to see if I had any potatoes in my garden. I know my plants looked good this year, but I have had great looking plants in the past and not gotten any potatoes. Let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised. For the small space I had planted, I got a good harvest. We enjoyed some tonight for dinner.

            I have to admit, this has been a bad gardening year. I am not alone. I have talked to other gardeners who have struggled this year. It seemed the cold weather hung on too long, followed by an incredibly wet period. Just as we were all getting things growing, the rain stopped and the heat turned on full blast.

            This year I went crazy and put out 22 tomato plants. We love tomatoes, and in peak season will have tomato sandwiches three times a week. I wanted to have an abundance of tomatoes so I could share more this year. So far this year all we have harvested are some cherry tomatoes. My plants look awful and there aren’t many tomatoes on those that are growing. I have been assured that I am not alone in my gardening struggles.

            The other day while I was working out in the garden, I thought I would pull some weeds, too. The weeds seem to be growing just fine…explain that! I found a box turtle lurking in the weeds. Anyway, I had one whole raised bed cleaned out and I thought, “I am going to plant something here. There is still time to get a harvest of beans, and maybe even some late corn.” It gave me a sense of hope.

            Between the deer, bunnies, turtle, and the weather we haven’t had much of a harvest this year. We have enjoyed butterbeans, a few cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and some of my blueberries. I have some c-o-r-n (don’t want the raccoons to hear) that should be ready in a week or so. I am hoping that we can enjoy some of that harvest.

            As I was planting the seeds the other day and looking at that corn with my mouth watering, I began to think what a powerful force hope is in our lives. With this awful gardening year, I could have given up…just let the weeds win. I realize there is still time, still an opportunity to get a harvest before the fall frost. I don’t want to give up. I want to believe that things can turn around, that I can still get a good harvest.

            Hope is a powerful force, in fact, I think it is unstoppable. If we can maintain hope we can persevere through whatever circumstances face us. If we can believe that tomorrow will be a better day, we can dig down to something deep within us and make it through today.

            I understand that in some cases, like depression, we need medical help to overcome. Pray for those who are struggling and trying to cope with loss, suffering, and pain…they need an extra dose of hope.

            When we get discouraged with life’s normal ups and downs we have to learn to hold onto hope. In the Old Testament, David went through many down times, he even wrote about them. If you read in the Psalms he sounds so down, but as the Psalm draws to a close David encourages himself. He reminds himself of God’s goodness and love. He tells himself that God will not abandon him, even though he might feel that way. My pastor tells us often that we can’t trust our feelings…we have to rely on our faith.

            When we get down, it’s hope that can lift us up. When we get discouraged, we can remember that when David was discouraged he renewed his hope in God. Sometimes we can’t see because we are surrounded by our circumstances, but if we turn to God, He can lift us up on the wings of hope. In our dark moments, we have to turn to God who will give us strength, wisdom, encouragement and hope.

            I want to encourage you to give yourself a shot of hope. When we can get hope flowing in our mental bloodstream we will find the strength to carry on. I also want to encourage you to call a friend and get them to pray for you. I believe it helps when we know we are not alone in our battles. Actually, we are never alone because God promises never to leave us or forsake us. You are an overcomer. If you feel discouraged, let me throw you a life preserver called hope.

Contact Doug at doug@dougcreamer.com

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