January means different things to different people. For some, it means a fresh start on a journey to a healthier you. For others, it means time to clean and organize the house. To many, it means football and the anticipation of the Super Bowl. To retailers, it means Valentine’s Day and garden art.
January is the month when the retailers put away their Christimas merchandise and line their shelves with fresh offerings of garden art. Painted bird houses, metal bird baths, concrete statues. Colorful plaques and rustic stakes and decorative trellises. Here I come, Hobby Lobby! I love filling my cottage garden with whimsical and eccentric garden art. For me, this is the most wonderful time of the year.
But, this January feels different. When I get out of the bed in the morning, I feel unstable because of my migraine medications. I have to hold on to furniture as I slide on my slippers. By mid-morning, when the migraine usually hits, my strength slowly leaves my body and I am left completely weak. I slowly putter around the house like an 80 year old woman.
With this weak and unreliable body, how am I going to garden? How will I put out the annual layer of pine straw? How will I have buy new plants and put them in the ground? Shoot, I can hardly keep the weeds pulled!
I consider my body as I look out the window and see the work ahead of me And I feel afraid. I’m afraid that the garden that I so enjoy is now too much for me to care for. I wonder if I will have to let go of this little paradise that I have so lovingly created and tended for the past 10 years.
What about you? Are there big things in your life that you don’t know if you can accomplish? Is there a long list of items on your “To do” list, and you are unsure if you have the time need to get them done? Do you feel overwhelmed by all of the demands placed on your life by family, work, and church?
As I consider my body and what I have to accomplish, I think about the patriarch of the Israeli race, Abraham. He was overwhelmed, too, and unsure of how to accomplish what God said. He and his wife Sarah were elderly, and God had promised that they would produce an heir, a son. But how? Abraham was 100 years old. We learn about Abraham’s dilemma in Romans 4.
Romans 4:18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations…
I love how it says, “In hope against hope, he believed” (NAS). The NIV says, “Against all hope, he believed.”
When the odds were all stacked against him, Abraham believed. Even though everything he saw said otherwise, he believed. His circumstances were awful, the task was impossible, but he believed.
Can you do that, too?
Can you believe that you kids will get good grades?
Can you believe that the car will not be repossessed?
Can you believe that the hereditary heart condition will be healed?
Can you believe that your spouse’s depression will be go away?
Can you believe that your prodigal child will return home?Can you believe that your body will be healed?
Can you believe that the bills will be paid?
Against all hope, can you believe?
It’s hard. I like that Romans 4:20 says that Abraham “did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith.” If Abraham grew strong in faith, we can too. We can believe against all hope. We can choose not to waver in unbelief. With God’s help, we can grow strong in faith.
I need to grow strong in faith.
I look out the window at my garden in hopeful anticipation of tending flowers come spring.
In hope against hope, I believe that God will strengthen my body. I know that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
In hope against hope, growing strong in faith, we believe.
Like Abraham, we are fully assured that what God has promised, He will perform (Romans 4:21).
What are you believing God for? Leave me a comment or reply to this email. I would love to pray for you.