Do you see them? I almost missed them at first glance.
But the flash of color was so bright against the sky. I took a second look …
Yes it was really there. Life, beauty, hope all on what looked like a lifeless tree at first glance. I looked even closer and became aware that there was a multitude of dogwood berries … buds of hope that spoke to me of life and hope for seasons yet to come.
So now I was curious. Just what are Dogwood berries and why had I not see them before?
Well, from what I can learn from Google only mature Dogwood trees (10-15 years) produce berries and the berries are the same color as the leaves throughout year. The berries even change color from green to red the same time as the leaves so they stay hidden from view. Apparently, if you are a bird these berries are quite tasty so many times the birds have eaten the berries before the leaves fall away.
But on this tree, when all the “normal” signs of life had been stripped away by autumn storms what was revealed were these beautiful buds of hope and promise.
For me this was a literal picture of fresh revelation I’ve had about hope. Sometimes you find hope where you least expect it.
I recently discovered that hopelessness can hide behind thankfulness. Color me surprised. Not that thankfulness is not a good thing, however, when thankfulness is tinged with resignation, warning bells need to go off in your head that your heart is trying to tell you something and your head has hit the mute button for some reason.
What do I mean by thankfulness with resignation? It goes something like this: I am thankful for what I have because it could be a lot worse and I might as well be thankful because this is probably as good as it gets.
Don’t get me wrong – my desire is for my focus to be on what is and to be thankful for that rather than focusing on what is not. How do I reconcile being thankful for what I have with hope for the more that is always available in my Heavenly Father? This was my question to my Heavenly Father and what follows is the answer I received while journaling:
I immediately hear what I heard while walking “letting go of the definition of better”. You asked me a question Father “has your life peaked?”. What immediately flooded my awareness is there is so much more of You, Father, Jeshua, Holy Spirit to be discovered how could my life possibly have peaked? The world would try to tell me my life has peaked, and probably did so some time ago … and with that comes hopelessness and resignation. But by letting go of the definition of better … the possibilities are endless. Can my life be better and possibly not contain some of the definitions that I bind to “better”? How would I know if I don’t give You that opportunity/ permission in my life? You bring to mind Isaiah 55:8-9
8For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
There they are. Almost missed them. Buds of hope I’ve never seen before flashing brilliantly on the canvas of my life for I truly have no idea what better can be if I will just let go of my definition and trust my Heavenly Father whose thoughts are so much more vast than mine. I mean, I didn’t know that dogwood berries existed either, but they do and now they are a part of my world.
Thank you, heart that when I tried to mute you with resignation you would not surrender. Thank you heart for knowing there was MORE and for continuing to unsettle me until I went looking for it. Thank you heart for being the gateway for my my thoughts and my future to be filled with the infinite possibilities of the One who created all. (Gen 1:1)
Yup, my choice is to let go of my definition of better …. for a better one 🙂