Finding hope in the middle of the winter

Hope is the laughter of little boys jumping through a surprise of puddles on a plus-7 day in the middle of winter.

Hope is an amaryllis, blooming, in the living room where my Mum sits and stares out the window, forgetting what day it is and what year it is and even that I’m pregnant, but still, the flower blooms.

It is the smell of my husband’s clean shirt pressed against me after a fight, the hug that forgives.

And hope is mothers from the slum of Katwe shouting with joy when our Ugandan Lulu national coordinator and staff mama show up. It’s them singing and dancing just because someone cares.

I seek it in the piles of laundry and the food-stuck-to-dishes and the late nights with sick boys who can’t stop coughing. I seek it in the piles of white and gray outside my window, Canadian winter sticking to the roof of the world like an unspoken word.

And I seek it in my Bible at the breakfast table, reading of Gideon and Joshua – and how hope was God winning the battle through small numbers and music. How he took what people had – Gideon’s smallness and his musical skills, Joshua’s courage and the Israelites’ trumpets – and he brought glory down from heaven, he brought victory down, he brought HOPE down from heaven. Through man’s praise and God’s power.

To bring him glory

And so I praise him. I praise him for these piles of laundry and for food-stuck-to-dishes and late nights with coughing boys. I praise him for that conversation with my Mum in which she said things that didn’t make sense and for the cold Canadian winter clinging to our boots. I praise him because I know, as my friend reminds me, God is greater than any problem we will face today.

She told me this on Sunday, after church, holding her two young children. She told me this before going to visit her husband in the hospital. He is paralyzed from a car accident, unable to talk or move. She told me this with her eyes shining because “you never know what God is doing in places we can’t see,” she said, and I nodded, because I could not speak.

My friend is the amaryllis, blooming.

Our God is bigger than any problem we will face today, friends.

Maybe you’re going through a really hard time. Maybe you just lost a loved one, or a job, or you received an unwanted diagnosis. Maybe your heart is sick.

God is bigger.

You can win this battle because the God-of-Angel-Armies is on your side.

All you need to do is offer him your smallness and your praise.

And he will do the rest.  


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