Ask the Lord for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture. Zechariah 10:1 NLT
SPRING BRINGS HOPE
This edition of Oasis of Hope is all about springtime and finding hope even when it seems so far away. As we near the end of March here in the northern hemisphere, we have signs of spring slowly appearing. Already, in some areas the weather is warming up slightly, though the evenings are still on the cool side. Daffodils are blooming in our area. Their deep green shoots and bright yellow blooms put a smile on my face.
Spring brings hope after the cold, bare, sleepy season of winter. And there is new life. Trees begin budding and leaves fill the branches seemingly overnight. New life appears in both the animal and plant kingdoms. The ground is warming up and ready for the spring rains to nourish all the new growth.
A RAINBOW OF HOPE
Often after a storm or near the end of a shower a rainbow appears. In fact, God made the first rainbow as a sign of the covenant He made with Noah and all of the creatures.
Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. Genesis 9:12-15 NLT
Today when we see a rainbow it is often a beacon of hope, reminding us of God’s promise. Maybe you’ve been in a season of winter that has brought unexpected hardships. Or maybe you’ve received an unwanted diagnosis. Perhaps your current chronic illness seems more than you can bear. Maybe it seems like spring will never come. Take heart, because there is always hope, even if a little glimmer.
SPRING BRINGS HOPE
Are you looking for the rainbow? Are you ready for the hope of spring? Our collection this month includes real life stories of people who found hope and beauty even when they felt helpless or unlovely. They share from their hearts and each one offers encouragement to us.
First, in Ready for Spring: Learning to Release What Was to Embrace What Is, Cinder Snider Re shares a conversation between her and her son. Read of some of her struggles as she surrendered to God, grieving what was and accepting what is. Find out how she came to the point where she was again ready to breathe and live and rejoin the dance.
Next, in Hope When You Can’t Fix It, Laura Rath shares how helpless you feel when you just can’t fix it. But she doesn’t leave you there. She reminds us that there is always hope, that though we are limited, God is not.
Third, in Becoming Beautiful in His Time, Tammi Rhoney reminds us that: like the slow transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly, God is using our afflictions to conform us slowly into Christ’s image and prepare us for the glory that awaits us.
Finally, join Abigail Carroll as she shares how she came to the conclusion that poetry could also be prayer in Vocabulary of the Heart • What Poetry Taught Me About Prayer. And at the end of the posts are some reflection questions to help you with your expressions of prayer.
IN THIS ISSUE
In this issue of Oasis of Hope, we explore the promise of hope even in hard times.
- Ready for Spring: Learning to Release What Was to Embrace What Is by Cindee Snider Re
- Hope When You Can’t Fix It by Laura Rath
- Becoming Beautiful in His Time by Tammi Rhoney
- Vocabulary of the Heart • What Poetry Taught Me About Prayer by Abigail Carroll
Ready for Spring: Learning to Release What Was to Embrace What Is
Somewhere along this rocky, twisting, unwanted adventure of chronic illness comes a place of wrestling with God, with self, and with letting go. But it’s OK. Because spring is almost here, hope watered in tears, ready to push through the grief, and burst into light.
Hope When You Can't Fix It
Some situations feel like a never-ending circle. I go around and around never getting anywhere. But still, there must be hope when you can’t fix it. The good news is—I can only do so much, but God can do so much more.
Becoming Beautiful in God's Timing
Chronic illnesses take a toll on our bodies inwardly and outwardly. Take heart, fellow Christian sufferers, and remember that like the slow transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly, God is using our afflictions to conform us slowly into Christ’s image and prepare us for the glory that awaits us in our Heavenly home.
Vocabulary of the Heart • What Poetry Taught Me About Prayer
I have come to believe that a poem can indeed be a prayer in every sense of the word, and what is more, writing a prayer as a poem can be a spiritually formative experience. For me, it opened the door to lament, enabling me to voice before God a level of anguish I did not have the courage to verbalize in conventional forms of prayer.