Hope in the Weeds
Gardeners will look at this picture with horror. Those with not-so-green thumbs like me will relate. Between my crazy full spring schedule and more rainy days than sunny ones, this small flower patch was neglected. What a grassy, ugly mess! And yet the tulips bloomed.
Seeing tulips thrive in less than ideal conditions pointed me to the God of hope. There are children everywhere – many within our GEMS clubs – who are living in less than ideal conditions. Some live in home situations that are a discouraging, ugly mess!
- No spiritual guidance
- Severed, dysfunctional families
And yet, like tulips surrounded by weeds, God can still cause children to grow, bloom, and thrive!
After talking to Mary Jo, a dear friend and spiritual mentor, about an ugly home situation that grieves my heart, she sent an email filled with encouragement. The day after we talked she said that she opened her Bible to read the Old Testament selection that she was up to and it was 1 Samuel. The child we spoke about together was fresh on her mind, and as she read she was filled with hope by the way God took care of Samuel in difficult circumstances. She wrote, “I guess it struck me that right after Hannah dropped Samuel off at the temple to live with Eli, she sang a song of praise and then the Bible describes how wicked Eli’s sons were. Samuel did not have an easy life, but God took care of him.”
Even though Samuel was surrounded by the wickedness of Hophni and Phinehas, the LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground (1 Samuel 3:19).
What was true for the prophet Jeremiah is true for each and every child: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you” (Jeremiah 29:11-14a).
Think about the girl in your club or the child in your neighborhood for whom your heart grieves most. Put his or her name in these verses and claim the promise God has for them!
God says, “For I know the plans I have for ______________, plans to prosper ____________ and not to harm ____________, plans to give ____________ hope and a future. Then ____________ will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to _________________. __________________ will seek me and find me when _______________ seeks me with all his/her heart. I will be found by _______________.”
God will do His part in the life of each and every child. Will we do ours by praying for children, loving them, and doing all that we can to provide safe, nurturing environments for the children in our homes, neighborhoods, and across the world?
Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place to live. Not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
Let’s daily resolve to be people who do something about it! We must do all we can to weed evil out of the lives of children and point them to the God of hope.
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