And in the midst of the warm, bright plans we make, doubt creeps in and darkness grips the soul of it all.
Sweet gray pots etched with silver words and holding baby flowers catch my eye and speak to me: Love, they say. Joy. Believe. Words that remind me, words that call forth beauty, hope, peace, words that call me on to live these things in my life.
We don't need any more plants in our tiny apartment, but the words and the sweet baby orchid blossoms of white and purple beckon me. On closer inspection, I see the pots are cracked--hence the reason they are sitting in the break room marked down for associates.
I don't need a broken pot with another orchid in it, I tell my husband.
No, you don't, he says, but you're going to get one anyway.
He knows me well.
I find it difficult to choose only one, because I need all of these reminders! I know that the greatest of these is Love and that in the humdrum routine of the daily grind I struggle often to be Joy, but I choose the healthiest looking plant with promising baby white blooms and it tells me Believe.
Life goes on and continues to resist our efforts to move forward. As darkness and doubt creep in, it would be easy to let them consume us, to crush our hope. But there in the corner of our living room is a little broken pot that reminds us: Believe.
Believe. And I know that this imperfect pot is a grace, a simple moment of beauty that God is using to show me my imperfect self and a deeper truth.
While we make our plans, we trust in God and His perfect plan. We know that when the outcome is not what we would prefer it to be, ultimately it is what God wants, and therefore, it is perfect. This is not always easy to grasp, but then, the cross never is. And we know that without the cross, there would be no glory.
Without our cracks, our brokenness, our wounds, our weaknesses, our darkness, we would not need His Mercy.
We are all imperfect, cracked and broken, but no matter how beaten and bruised we are, we always have a home with God. He heals our wounds and uses them to make us more beautiful than we were before. We learn to trust in Him. And life happens and we get hurt again and again, but we continue to trust and believe in His Mercy, His Healing Love, His Goodness.
Sometimes the wounds cut deep and take time to heal, and sometimes the darkness seems never-ending, and as we wait to feel healed, we wonder what the point is of continuing to believe, to hope. But in the darkness and in our pain, we are closest to Him on the cross. He holds us in His Heart so that our thirst is His thirst, and I have found that the surest way to quench this thirst for both of us is to choose to believe, to pray over and over, "I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24).
And He will. He will absolutely help your unbelief. And it probably won't be at all in the way you think, but He will fix your broken pot, and in the meantime, He'll give you grace, which might look like precious baby orchids. Or something else entirely. Or something that you can't even see. No matter how the grace falls--like petals, like snow, like an invisible strength deep inside you--never forget that He loves you, He loves you, He loves you!
|HE LOVES YOU.|
P.S. If you're looking for a more book-length encouragement on how to keep hoping in the darkest darkness, check out Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors. I highly recommend it! #goodreads