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I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.

In an Area That Made the Top 5 Most Depressing Cities List, I Found Hope

Today I went for a walk and was greeted by hope at every turn.  The daffodils are in bloom.

Several years ago I had written a series of devotions based on the book of Esther.  Each chapter had a flower assigned to it.  Below is part of the lesson I wrote for chapter 5:

When I considered Esther 5, I started thinking about Esther, standing outside the king’s hall.  For three days and three nights she had been fasting and praying.  During those days and nights, had God filled her with His hope? How her heart must have been pounding!  How her hands must have been trembling!  “If I perish, I perish,” sounded brave enough when she said the words to Hatach, but now here she was, standing outside the king’s hall, her fate and the fate of her people in jeopardy.  Was there hope in her heart?  Or was there only fear?  When the door opened and the king saw her, were her knees shaking?  Did she have to remind herself to breathe?  Would this be her final moment?

As she approached, however, the king extended to her his golden scepter.  Barely aware, or perhaps very aware of what she was doing, she reached a trembling hand out to touch the scepter.  That touch told her that the moment was real; there was hope.

The flower that I chose for this week is the daffodil.  The American Cancer Society uses the daffodil as their symbol of hope.  The unopened blossom of the daffodil even looks like a golden scepter on a slender green stalk; and one can’t help but smile when they see the bright yellow face of an opened daffodil.

My least favorite time of year is late winter/early spring.  The snow is no longer gloriously white and brilliant, but instead ugly shades of gray and generally drab.  The trees are still stark and bare.  Even those of us who love winter grow tired of the cold and the wet.  Mud is everywhere.  Nothing is pretty… until…. we catch sight of a little color, a crocus or a snowdrop bravely poking its head through the winter-spring mess.  Then come the daffodils that laugh at the winter and assure us that spring and summer are coming.  There is hope.

The Lord extends a golden scepter each of us every day.  We only need reach out to touch it.  Lamentations 3:21 -23 says,

“But this one thing I bear in mind and therefore I have hope:
the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.”

Some say the daffodil says, “The sun is always shining when I’m with you.”  How appropriate is that! We don’t have to wait for spring to see the hope of the daffodil.  He gives it to us daily – a golden scepter extended to us of hope, grace, love, mercy and acceptance.

All I have needed thy hand hath provided.  Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

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Today’s post was inspired by today’s Daily Prompt:  Head to one of your favorite blogs.  Write a companion piece to their penultimate post.

I confess.  This was one of those moments when I was happy one of my children wasn’t looking over my shoulder because I knew they would ask, “What does penultimate mean?”

Penultimate.  Yeah.  It’s one of the words I felt like I should know, but I really didn’t, so I looked it up.

pe·nul·ti·mate

/peˈnəltəmit/

Adjective

Last but one in a series of things; second last: “the penultimate chapter of the book”

Well, alrighty then.  I immediately knew which blog I wanted to head to, and now I knew which post needed a companion piece.

I’m not sure how I originally stumbled on “The Annalist” — but I can honestly say that I am thrilled whenever I see that she has posted something new.  She’s in Mongolia, for goodness sake!  And she’s witty, funny, and kind.  Her pictures are amazing — which is great because she has some amazing adventures.  I recommend reading her post “Mongolia Mountain.”

Today’s post, however, was written as a companion to “In a Country That Made the Top 10 Unfriendly to Tourists List, Something Nice Happens” — her penultimate post, that is, her second to last post.  You see, I live in an area that has the dubious distinction of being one the top five most depressing in America.  We have an abundance of daffodils right now — a reminder that there is always hope.

And a special thanks to my friend, Alyssa, who reminded me of the Lamentations verses just the other day when I really needed to hear them.

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4 comments on “In an Area That Made the Top 5 Most Depressing Cities List, I Found Hope

  1. Anna
    April 20, 2013

    What a beautiful start to our Sunday morning here! I am flattered to have the honour of your companion piece! I’ll be taking the words of that hymn (Great is Thy Faithfulness) with me today. It’s one of my favourites 🙂

  2. Pingback: I Can’t Write What I Don’t Know | The Jittery Goat

  3. catterel
    April 21, 2013

    Where I am staying with my mother is also one of the most depressed parts of the country – but what a difference in the last few days, with sunshine, blue skies and the first flowers blooming. Hallelujah!

  4. Mia
    April 21, 2013

    In South Africa we have sunflowers, lots and lots of them. It is so incredibly beautiful to watch them, during the day as the sun moves on. Their faces turns with the sun. In the morning they look east and in the afternoon, they have turned west.
    I lovr to keep my thoughts and heart fixed on the Son from heaven! Nice post.
    Mia

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This entry was posted on April 20, 2013 by in Miscellaneous conversations and tagged , , , , , .

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