“Bears extra-large, extra-sweet, extra-firm fruit so you enjoy fresh peach flavor…” My mouth was watering already as I ordered two three-foot trees. It would take years of cultivation before that promise could be fulfilled, but never mind: Maybe by the time I had grandchildren, those luscious peaches would be mine.
But it was not to be. The trees never made it past the first year. I thought all hope was lost until one spring day two years later I noticed a small shoot pushing its way up through the grass. The peach tree! It wasn’t dead, after all! Somehow this little branch, defying all odds, sprang up from roots I’d thought were dead.
Likewise, when all seemed hopeless for God’s chosen people, the Israelites, in the darkest night of exile and oppression, He reminded them that He had not deserted them. Even as their homes, their temple, their holy city Jerusalem lay in ruins, God promised someday he would send a Savior to bring hope in the midst of despair, life in the valley of death, and healing to broken hearts and wounded spirits (Isaiah 61:1).
Sometimes the struggles of life get me down. Just when hope seems dead, God reminds me that, just as He was there for the Israelites so long ago, He’s there for me today, even when I can’t sense His presence. Grasping onto that tiny root of hope is all I need to get me through life’s rockiest ground.
Father God, as I light the second Advent candle, I remember the dark nights of my life, when all was lost. Thank you for giving me hope when I had none left. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Isaiah 9:2-7