Trite Hope?

Had a recent discussion about seasons, life and death, resurrection (of any of us, and Jesus) and such. And it’s my fave time of year: Autumn!20161112_105836

I love being outdoors and though we’ve had some colder weather in Chicago I try to get into our side yard or at least sit for a few minutes on our second-floor balcony here in inner-city Chicago.

Today as in the past week it was a mix of cold wind but bright sunshine. Had my cup of tea and sat for a bit.

Wendi and I have small plantings of herbs and little tomatoes in a large flowerbox in this spot. For growth, we provided the proper soil, fertilization, watering and weed-pulling. The right mix of sun and shade are there. We try to keep up with ongoing care and hey, we see the results 🙂

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The thing is, this little bed has produced a great deal of really good basil and other herbs for the past several years, and also a great harvest -really MANY ongoing harvestS of tomatoes.

I will often eat six or eight at a time and with good low-carb bread and mayo, a very little salt and pepper, love tomato sandwiches that come from about 4 to 6 gradual fruitings from this one vine. Amazing!

Today as I was about to sit down I snapped a few pics.

The beautiful leaves tell us fall has fallen. Winter sleep is coming on. The cold air and wind off of Lake Michigan speaks plainly of this.

Yet there is the bright sun.

And -lo and behold, some 14 fresh little tomatoes in various degrees of ripening still on the vine! On November 12th yet! Hmmm…

The recent death of my friend and father-in-law (see the last couple blog posts), Thanksgiving, the weather, even the vines and leaves offer reminders of change. But about the time I thought this vine was done bearing fruit it delightfully fooled me by what it’s producing.

Trite, I know… but I not only believe in His resurrection, but Curt’s, my wife’s and my own. I believe regardless of doubt and the miseries which visit us in our human existence that after autumn comes winter and then Spring! Seasons. All these are needed for bearing fruit.

Have you ever lost faith that there might be genuine fruitfulness, actual yield in your life?

Have you given up on yourself, your ability to change, to heal, to find peace, meaning in your life? Have you fully given up on a loved one, friend or enemy and in your own heart consigned them to zero chance of change for the better?

You, I and all have taken that road at various times in our lives. Between old age, hopes and dreams smashed, illness, a vast array of injustice, crime, violence and what looks like stupidity in the world and those we care about -and in ourselves… the old Bible story of Job where the line “Curse God and die” comes to mind. Just give up, throw in the towel, admit it: you/they/things CANNOT and WILL -NEVER EVER- change for the positive, for the better.

This fully counters what Jesus Christ both taught and lived. I encourage you to really open your heart to His Own words as recorded in the four Gospels and consider if He or His followers were fully liars or just plain crazy.

Sure, plenty of “Christians” seem and I would say indeed are pretty flipped… and it never surprises me when they consider me nuts as well 🙂 Sincerely, no surprise to me at all.

I look into my own life and see growth that I never expected to see. I’ve recognized it in person after person that I lost faith and hope for. I mean, who wants to get their heart broken again? Who wants to be “a sucker” who takes another fist in the face? Why bother with this empty old promise that there may indeed be fruit coming after “all this time”?

Because the facts are, not always mind you… but often: it does. I’ve experienced it. I’ve seen it plenty.

Pay attention- God isn’t finished until He’s finished. Meanwhile, “faith, hope and love” are the call and the road out of despair. In our loving obedience, we see things we often otherwise miss completely.

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One last thing: ““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jesus in John 15.5)

I can hear someone thinking “There it is, that punchline at the end of His supposed statement”. Yep. As we cooperate with Him and in love trust God more than ourselves we see what I saw today and a great deal. If relationally we live apart from Him, like fruit without soil, sun, water and nutrients, we shrivel. We have choice, the garden does not.

20161112_110317Life-giving relationship to God and others is something I consider and benefit from daily. It’s the soil and the nutrition I need to grow.

May you truly enjoy autumn. Even winter! Spring will come.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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2 thoughts on “Trite Hope?

  1. Thank you Glenn for this reminder not to give up on others or ourselves. I found your post to be very encouraging. I always tell people the only way we as Christians lose is to give up. But I recognize that sometimes we all feel like doing just that. I live in a small town of about 1500 people and I try to challenge the adult class that I teach as well as myself to not accept what’s always been. Don’t give up on the town drunk. Don’t give up on that loved one you’ve been praying for and witnessing to for years. Sometimes we question will we ever see that fruit? So thank you again for the encouraging words. May God bless you my friend!

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