A couple of years ago, Heidi and I knew that we were facing significant transitions. Our youngest daughter, Rachel, was heading off to school. I knew that I was nearing the end of full-time high school teaching. There were many unknowns as well as many opportunities ahead in the future.
And then there was that pesky piece of lawn next to the house that had never amounted to more than a breeding ground for weeds. So Heidi came up with the idea to plant a garden right where all the weeds were. And I came up with the name, The Garden of Hope.
We set to work, but had to start from ground zero. That meant killing those pesky weeds and then laying down mulch and fertilizer. I then bordered the area with small boxwood. Heidi began to plant the flowers that would fill the area.
As the flowers grew along with their beauty, the garden became a symbol for us, a symbol of hope for the new and beautiful things we wanted Jesus to do in our lives, individually and as a family. And the last two years have been that for us: watching doors open, feeling hearts awaken, sensing hope grow out of barrenness.
For wherever Jesus shows up, there is beauty and hope. He plants that garden in our own hearts, out of the soil of our shame and guilt and sadness. Amazing!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)