Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Baton of Hope - Guest Post

Please welcome my dear friend and guest blogger, Eileen Knowles to my site. I am grateful that she has gracefully accepted my invitation to post with me. She is a gifted writer and shares her experiences on her blog site The Scenic Route, links and bio are listed at the end.

The Baton of Hope

Sometimes I picture hope as the baton we carry through this race called life. We pass this baton from one generation to the next. It progresses on down the road an impacts and changes whoever grabs hold of it.I once heard it explained this way to me: Flip to Hebrews 11 in your Bible. It's the chapter sometimes referred to as the Hall of Faith, where we read about all the incredible men and women of faith who have come before us.

Now, look up Hebrews 11:41 in the Bible. You won't find this verse. Why? You won't find it because you are living this verse right now. I've always found great joy in knowing that my life, my faith walk, is part of the bigger picture. It's woven together with those who came before us. We are a team of racers and God's plan was always to incorporate our leg of the race into the picture already painted.

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11: 39-40

I am grateful that this baton of hope was passed down to me from my mom. However, there was a season in my life when I didn't have a very firm grip on it and allowed it to slip from my hands. Today, I hold on tightly. I know what my life looks like when I loosen my grip and let go.

The other day I was reading through the account of Jesus asking Peter repeatedly if he loved Him. It was after the resurrection, after Peter was put to the test, and after he denied he even knew his Savior multiple times.I find this picture of Jesus confronting Peter one of the most beautiful exchanges in Scripture. It's almost as if Jesus is telling Peter. You dropped the baton, you took your eyes off the finish line and allowed fear to guide your steps. Now, pick up the baton and keeping running, my Child! Keep running!

Let us hold unswerving to the hope we profess, because He who promised is faithful. ~Hebrews 10:23

Eileen Knowles is a small town Arizona girl who studied English at The University of Arizona a long, long time ago. She now lives in small town North Carolina with her husband, Roger, their nine-year old son, and one quirky dog named Bisbee. When she is not working part-time as a Virtual Assistant for eaHelp, she thoroughly enjoys drinking coffee, running, playing Scrabble, and writing about how cool it is to journey through life with Jesus holding her hand.
Eileen is passionate about leaving a legacy for her son and encouraging others along the way who might need a dose of hope poured into their weary lives.
You can find her taking The Scenic Route

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hope – Changing Times

Spring is a not only the season of new life, but also a season of planting. I love getting outside and getting my hands dirty. Before any work begins, I make careful decisions to what plants I want to go where. Any gardener knows you just can't plant haphazardly. Every plant must be planted in just the right location for it to grow and survive. Too much sun or water can devastate the crop.

Preparing the ground is another task that must be complete before planting can begin. Weeds, debris, rocks and other materials must be removed. A time consuming task that is rewarded when cultivating and nurturing the young plants begins.

While writing this article, the Lord began speaking to my heart reminding me that He is the Chief Gardener. Before we were born, He planned and designed us. He knew our parents. He knew where and when we'd be born. It is not chance that we are here now, in this age. We were placed in just the right environment to grow and survive. Amazing, isn't it.

The Lord also reminded me how He prepares the ground of our hearts to receive Him. How times of trouble and certain circumstances cultivate us for greater use. He builds faith and endurance for the road ahead. He never allows too much trouble or too much circumstance that would cause us to falter in faith or trust. Of course, there are those of us who sometimes choose the wrong path and get caught up in our own trouble.

I am also reminded about the three rules of gardening: Seed – Time – Harvest. Oh, how we want the harvest before the seed is planted! I visualize my crop. How luscious and delicious they will be, before I've planted one seed. But there is much work to be done.

Inside each seed is the blueprint for each plant. The seed needs to be planted in the right soil for it to germinate and begin to sprout. Moisture and warmth are key to this process of germination. Once the seed has sprouted, it makes its journey up to the sunlight, where it continues to develop into the plant.

Time is the element of patience. The development of the plant is a daily process. It does not produce it's fruit the day it bursts through the soil. No, it is a continual process. Even though the harvest is a long way off, everyday grows closer.

The time of harvest, for me is a time of great pleasure. Enjoying the fruit of my time and effort is very rewarding. A sense of accomplishment and pride in a job well done, makes the long wait worth every minute.

This same principal used in planting has spiritual implications. When we pray and seek God for His will, His provision, His blessing, His guidance – Remember the seed, time and harvest. The Lord always answers. Like the seed, even though we may not see anything happening right away, believe something is taking place. It will take time before we start to see results, but know the harvest is coming!