“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 62:5–6).
The past few years, the southwest part of the United States has been suffering from severe drought. The snows have fallen less and less on the mountaintops, the monsoons have been minimal, the wind has been strong, and the air has been dry. I have witnessed forest fire after forest fire in areas around my home. I have seen the devastation of fires on the news in other areas that have destroyed not only forests, but homes, farms, wildlife, income and dreams. I have to admit the drought has weighed heavily on my mind.
I love nature, wildlife and a walk each day in the wilderness behind my home. Each year I’ve watched trees die, dust mount up on the trails like beach sand, coyotes growing thin and mangy, jackrabbits fewer in numbers, and mountain lions roaming into communities in search of food and water. It is sad, and some days I find it difficult to hope for rain.
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).
Recently, depressed at the site of the cracked ground and the brown native grasses, I took a walk on a trail I haven’t been on before. It seems I’ve been praying for so long for rain, along with many others in this drought-stricken land, but to no avail. I walked with my two dogs, slowly climbing upward toward the top of a hill. As my feet stepped over rocks and hardened ground, I prayed again for God to send us rain. I told Him I didn’t understand why some places were flooding and why some places were not getting one drop of moisture. I told Him it was time for a break and to please not let everything die. I ask for rain to replenish this dry earth.
As I reached the top of the hill, I saw something that restored my hope. On the top of this hill, where dead trees abound, I saw an abundance of color. There, in front of me, were hundreds of tiny yellow wildflowers that bloomed in spite of the drought conditions. It was the most beautiful site I had ever seen in nature. I dropped to my knees and thanked God for this splendid sign of hope for the future.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
The tiny yellow wildflowers were my security, confidence and hope. I believe God allowed them to bloom to show the world that all may have hope. The next time things seem overwhelming and hope is so distant from your heart, don’t look for the big and miraculous. Look for the tiny hummingbird feeding in front of your window, look for the simple warmth of sunshine streaming across your face, look for the rainbow that appears beyond the rain clouds, and look for the tiny yellow wildflowers that bloom in the midst of desolation and despair. This is hope.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 ESV).
Ginger Peters is a freelance writer residing in New Mexico.