Seasons of Returning Hope
I don’t think it’s an uncommon experience to feel burdened by the current tensions of political, social, and economic changes. For most of us, few areas of our lives remain untouched by the pandemic and all the repercussions that come along with it. I have become weary with the perpetual chaos that swirls around me during this time, and even more than that, I am tired of talking about it.
As Oregonians, we endure a season of gray skies and rainy horizons for an extended period of time. Oftentimes we will have rain from October through April. As a lover of rain, I don’t mind all the overcast days, but there comes a time when I crave feeling the warmth of the sun.
A yearly phenomenon happens during April and May, in which the sun starts peeking out from behind the clouds and many people emerge from their houses in shorts. As many of us know, the sun being out does not mean the weather is warm. Regardless, masses of neighbors come out from hibernation, putting on their flip flops and tank tops to find themselves outdoors. Despite having goosebumps from the icy wind, people soak in the warmth of the sun.
I love to see my community outside. After months of grey, seeing kids biking in my neighborhood, young people running at the park, and seeing the older couple across the street gardening in their front yard renews a feeling of joy in my spirit. I never know how much I miss something until it comes back, and all of a sudden there is a joy within me I didn’t know was missing.
Reflecting on the last year or so, I have to ask myself: Have I lost hope for the good that’s coming, because it’s been such a long season of weariness?
In life, it is hard to continue at full speed when we cannot see what’s ahead. Personally, I find it hard to remain present and intentional in times that I am not seeing what fruit will come of my laboring. In a pandemic, it’s difficult to choose joy when it is far easier to complain and express bitterness that things are not how we want them to be in the world.
As the sun returns and I feel my spirits lifting with a surge of vitamin D and warmth, I am reminded of how wonderful it feels to leave behind a tough season and begin anew. With our world as it is today, I am reminding myself that it is important to hold out hope for the future. It’s hard to see beyond the thickness of ‘should be’s and ‘wishing it was,’ but I know that there will come a time when we can feel the freedom of a new season. Honestly, I think our difficult seasons help us appreciate the times that are often taken for granted.
We don’t know what this year will continue to bring with natural disasters, world health crises, political tensions, and social setbacks, but we can know that we will have full hearts when it’s all behind us. Until that time, will we have faith that something good will come? Our ultimate hope lies with the promise that we are redeemed by our Father in Heaven. What does that hope look like when we are still standing here in the soil of a broken world? I take comfort in knowing that, “for everything, there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) and while every season may not be my favorite, I can know and believe, “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).
I hope you find yourself soaking up the sunshine in this beautiful month of May, and that you are able to nurture a hope in your heart that can be carried from one season to the next.
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