Hope in the Waiting

About this past week …

My eight-year-old’s eyes fill with concern as she stares out the window. Ice forms on top of the hard snow, and I shiver at the thought of stepping outside in the treacherous weather.

“Mom, do you think the crocuses will still bloom?”

I smile and now understand why her eyes are locked on the soil beneath our maple tree. She knows the green shoot of a crocus is the first glimmer of the hope of spring, and crocus bulbs lay beneath the surface of that solid ground.

I don’t answer her for a moment. I think about the bulb deep in the earth’s ground and how it perfectly hibernates for 365 days. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting … before breaking through the hardness and launching a green shoot towards the sky. Sometimes the winter surrounding us and in our souls is long, dark, and bleak. Unchanged circumstances. Waiting on good news. Believing spring is coming but seeing no signs. Praying for a breakthrough. Desiring direction. Longing for peace.

I turn to her and say, “Somehow, some way the crocuses will break through the frozen, hard ground and bloom. But not now. It’s not time.”

“But how, Mom?” she asks.

“I know. It doesn’t seem possible,” I answer. “It’s simply waiting.”

I say this out loud and think inwardly about all the places in my life where I’m waiting. Hoping. Praying. It’s in the waiting where we learn to lean not on our own understanding; where we begin to gain a new perspective and soar on wings like eagles. Where we are reminded that even though we’ve been wandering in the proverbial desert, like the Israelites in Egypt, manna from the sky falls to give us what we need for today. Where we’re curled up in a ball like that bulb waiting on an unanswered prayer. Where God takes us by the hand and says, “I see you.”

We’ve lived in our home for nine winters, and every single year, without fail, the resilient crocuses break through the soil under that small Japanese maple. Out of nowhere! They are delicate and beautiful, and produce three tiny, yellow threads within their purple petals, which, it turns out, is the most valuable spice on the planet: saffron.

Wherever you find yourself today, keep holding on. Fix your eyes on Jesus during your time of waiting. Maybe, just maybe, the ice will start to melt and you’ll push through the hard ground to bring joy and hope to those around you … all the while, holding the most valuable treasures of what you’ve learned in the waiting.“

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” - Psalm 37:7

Anika Ortiz
WCC Family Pastor