Categories
Christian Blog Hope

One Firefly Night

Last night, just after dusk, I sat on the back porch taking in the sounds of nature. There were a few crickets and some bird who didn’t know not to sing after sun down. It was all garden variety, until my eye caught a green blink…blink…blink. A firefly!

Hyper-focused, I tried to guess where the micro flash would come next. Over by the storage shed, near the silhouette of a tree, surely this little guy has company!

But there was only one. A single firefly blinked a few times. And then it was gone.

A one firefly night.

It happened so fast, I didn’t get the chance to share it with anyone. I ran inside to tell my wife, “Sweetheart, I just saw a firefly. ONE firefly! I think I’ll name him Frosty.”

“Frosty?”, she said.

“Yes, after Robert Frost. You know, the poet who wrote, Nothing Gold Can Stay?

I then quoted, unprompted, one of my favorite poems:

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

A single lightning bug–arguably, the most beautiful but fragile of God’s creatures, lives in the words of a famous poet, but also in the heart’s cry of Psalm 43.

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.

Psalm 43:5

Nothing Gold Can Stay.

The scripture, the poem, and the firefly: each say life is GUARANTEED to change. It’s beyond our total control; all one can do is prepare for the inevitable.

Depressing? Perhaps. The free acceptance of an unknown future CAN be.

But you and I know who holds the future.

Put your hope in God; for I will yet praise Him.

This post first appeared on my blog in June of 2019. But, would you believe, the same thing happened the other night?! One firefly appeared in my back yard, blinked a time or two, and then was gone.

Categories
Hope

Look for the Hope

A friend from my church choir, whose whole family recently recovered from COVID-19, shared a testimony during our praise and prayer time after rehearsal: “Look for the hope.”

I immediately thought of King David’s words in Psalm 112:4 “Even in the darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.”

Come to think of it, light–no matter how small–always displaces darkness. I experienced this once in a large room of a limestone cavern. The tour guide turned out all the lights; it was the most complete darkness imaginable. “It’s so dark in here you can’t see your hand in front of your face,” he said. “Try it. Stick your thumb on your nose and wiggle your fingers.” Well, I did–looking like one of the three stooges. Suddenly, the lights came back on. “Gotcha!” said the ornery guide.😊

God’s hope is like that. It can illuminate our lives at any moment, because the Lord Himself has his finger on the switch. And, contrary to popular belief, He’s still the BOSS.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Genesis 1:3 (NIV)

Frankly, I’m in need of some hope from heaven this very morning. You too? Kind reader, our Heavenly Father is able to shed His glorious light, even on the darkest situation. So don’t get caught wiggling your hands in front of your face when He does.😊

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5 (NIV)

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Categories
Hope resilience

Unwelcome News

It’s cancer.

You’re fired.

Killed in action.

These are words nobody wants to hear–EVER.

Yet there are times, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” as Rabbi Harold Kushner writes in his book by the same name.

Rabbi Kushner wrote this inspirational classic after his three year old son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease that meant the boy would only live into his teens. The book reveals the heart of a spiritual leader, father and vulnerable human being as he deals with one of life’s most burdensome questions: Why, God?

It’s a question we find in abundance throughout the Psalms of King David. Like a bookend on a shelf, such a heartfelt inquiry starts Psalm 10.

Why, O Lord do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

Psalm 10:1

Have you ever felt this way? I have. And the question that kept coming to mind was, “Where are you God?” But there was no immediate A after the Q.

Maybe you’ve experienced or know someone who has experienced a similar situation.

  • They were supposed to get promoted, but are out of a job instead.
  • Retired to enjoy their golden years, but then their spouse got sick.
  • Had a marriage that wasn’t supposed to fail, but did.
  • Lost loved ones, seemingly before their time, to a terrible disease.

I don’t intend for this to be a totally downer post, but reality says even the strongest believer can lose hope.

This happened to the disciples during their last meal with Jesus, when he delivered the following unwelcome news: “Guys, I’m about to be killed in action.” He also said He’d come back to life again in three days, but they didn’t hear that part. The Lord lost them at KIA.

In a moment, an ordinary Passover became the Last Supper. “This is NOT how the story is supposed to go!” blurted Peter. But it was already happening. Palm Sunday was about to become Face-Palm Friday.

This feeling persisted even AFTER the resurrection. On the road to Emmaus, Jesus spoke with two followers who said, “We had trusted (past tense) that He was the one to deliver Israel.”

Has anyone else ever been in what seemed like a totally hopeless situation–groping in the dark for answers? I have.

Apparently, King David’s critics like to taunt him with the same question over and over: “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:3,10) However, they missed something; it was still early in the game. And like Rosabeth Moss Kanter says,

Everything looks like failure in the middle.

Near the end of Psalm 10 there is another book end, and this one isn’t a doubt filled question:

But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.

Psalm 10:14

God sees.

God knows.

Gods acts.

Now these are words that are welcome–ALWAYS!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1

Prayer:
Heavenly Father: Today, I choose to remember the dark seasons of my life, and to celebrate the fact that, even then and there, Jesus was all that I really needed. I praise you, God. For even though I was tempted to lose ALL hope, thanks to Your amazing grace I DID NOT!


Need help with resiliency? One of my go to sites is Don’t Lose Hope. It’s an online community focused on betrayal trauma, but addresses other life stressors as well. Please check it out!

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash