Many years ago my dad helped me create the beds for these azaleas, and then we planted them along the rock wall in our backyard. It's taken years for the bushes to grow together to create this annual riot of color that looks like it's all coming from one bush, when in fact it's about seven different ones.
I've been patiently waiting with hope for these bushes to bloom...the kind of hope that is expectant and knows that eventually it will happen.
In the same way, there are a number of situations, circumstances and events where I'm waiting with hope, expecting God to burst forth with his supernatural "blooms". They haven't come yet, but I believe and expectantly hope that they're coming soon.
Sometimes I get weary of hoping because I can't see anything happening. Then it just gets plain old discouraging. But, when I think I can't hope anymore, God reminds me of this passage and how real hope is born, when you can't see or don't have the answer.
So I press on again and again, praying with hope and faith, for God's glorious "reveal", which always, always comes ... just like the blossoms on the azalea bushes.
|Taken just a few minutes ago, as the rain gently falls this evening.|
That passage in Romans 8 goes on to say: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."
I feel like I've done a lot of that kind of praying over the past months. Praying and praying for breakthroughs, answers, healing, provision, change and growth. Believe me, there are days when I have no power for prayer so I have nothing else to do but turn to the Spirit to intercede for me as I communicate with groans, aches and pains for people I love and tough circumstances.
In several of those situations, I saw the slightest glimmer of hope this week ... kind of like seeing the buds on the azalea bushes before they ever break open and display their color. But when I see the buds, I know it won't be long.
So as I see the "buds" of hope, I return to waiting patiently and expectantly, believing God WILL show up soon with his perfect blooms of glorious color. I praise him today for the hope that is not yet seen, but that I believe him for anyway.
In doing so my faith is being made perfect (not me! Just my faith...) as I stand firm in believing God to complete his work.
And for all those situations, I'm expecting a bright array of beauty any time now!