I was listening to one of my gardening podcasts while sewing which I’m apt to do. The topic, seedlings, was appropriate for this time of year when gardeners are yearning to dig their hands in that sweet, tangy, winter composted dirt, ready to plant new seeds ordered from the beautifully illustrated mail-in catalogues.

The host, “Joe Gardener,” excitedly talked about the how to of tender seedlings. I was filled with an all-encompassing pull, a yearning to get started on my full-of-promise spring garden. I came to a screeching halt, lifted my foot off of the sewing pedal, and totally lost track of the quilt square pattern on which I was concentrating. The purring whir of the sewing machine stopped. I grabbed my ever-ready spiral notebook and pen to capture the thoughts jostling for preferential treatment in my head.

The words went kind of like this: “Why would God plant such deep desires in us if they don’t amount to anything, they don’t sprout, they don’t see the sunlight of day?” The Spirit in me sows all sorts of yearnings that seemingly come to nothing.

I transferred this thought to our corporate musings in general. Sometimes we are certain that life is plotting against us. Our governments are in disarray, deaf to our needs. Our families are split for one reason or another. Our health surprises us around each corner. No matter how hard we work or how conscientious we are to be women and men of integrity, we keep falling behind. Frustration abounds as we try to navigate all kinds of “new normals.”

Does this litany sound relatable?

We keep planting seeds of hope while yearning for a wedge of blue sky. Maybe those seedlings of desire are meant to be sowed with all their pictures of advertised hope in order that we persevere. I’m shrugging my shoulders not in defeat, but in a gesture of “let’s try again,” built on the foundation of last spring’s results, knowing that this winter season of pandemic hopelessness is just that; a long harsh winter with spring around the corner.

On which seeds of hope have you given up?

…so that we who have found refuge in him may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.

Hebrews 6:18

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