Where do words of HOPE come from that help refresh your SOUL? Looking outside my window, signs of my favorite season refresh my soul with no words needed. Watching colorful leaves flutter in the cool wind while squirrels scurry to gather food for winter, Hope comes knowing Somebody bigger than you and I is still in control. Pausing from my writing, God speaks words of Hope as I survey the wonders of autumn happening in my own backyard. Like clockwork, the geese fly overhead honking HOPE as they head south, leaves whither on my potato vines, grass loses the green hue that colored my lawn and kept me busy on James’ John Deere in the hottest season of all, and daylight wanes as cool weather settles in for winter. Each season brings signs of HOPE; yet, spring reminds us that new beginnings come when it seems that winter season will never end.
Favorite words of HOPE that refresh my soul and heal my brokenness in all seasons come from God’s Word. These words come to life when embraced with love and honor for the One who created you and me in His image. Our heavenly Father made it all, gave it all, and can take it all away in the twinkling of an eye. So, it makes good sense that we (all His children) stop fussing, fighting, and finding excuses for the state of affairs among us and trust God to work things out in His perfect timing. While our world seems divided into pieces that man cannot seem to put back together, God can.
Words of HOPE come to refresh our soul in ways we may not recognize or understand while stuck in seasons that can suck HOPE and HAPPINESS from our hearts. In seasons of sickness, sorrow, and situations that threaten to take us down, words of HOPE from His Word engraved on our hearts and released from our lips get God’s attention. Repeating Psalms 46:10 millions of times and believing every word of it keeps me hoping, praying, and believing when I feel broken. Fast paced living prevails; yet, the Lord gently slows us down to listen when the world tries to drown Him out! Are we listening and honoring God or looking to other gods (anything that takes precedence in our lives, that we put before God) for hope. Without God, there is no hope. “Be still and know that I Am GOD”. And He is!
Before writing this story, I re-read a favorite book, My Beautiful Broken Shell, given by The Bruce Family who became my family when God worked a miracle. He listened to James and me when our hearts were broken and He put us together as only He could do. Now, our blended family is close and confident in who we are in Christ. Our HOPE comes knowing our loved ones are in Heaven and we will be together again when our work here is done. Sharing the words of HOPE from my precious gift seems to be how God nudges my heart to end this story. May you be blessed as I am every time I read and remember how God loves His beautiful broken shells…you and me! Never lose HOPE for He looks after us in all seasons and sends signs that show us He is GOD!
“Dawn has broken on a beautiful day here at the ocean. I’ve come to refresh my weary spirit and to refuel my tired soul. I’m so grateful for the peace and the calm of the seashore, where time stands still and unrushed…where I can see and feel the beauty all around me.
This is my first morning at the ocean, and as I walk to the beach, feeling the rich, warm sand beneath my feet, I decide to collect a few shells. It is low tide and I watch, mesmerized, as the ocean rises slowly…curls…and then spills its white-laced foam onto the shore. I walk by a broken scallop shell…and leave it to search for more perfect ones.
But then I stop…go back…and pick up the broken shell. I realize that this shell is me with my broken heart. This shell is people who are hurting…people who have lost loved ones…people who are frightened or alone…people with unfulfilled dreams.
This shell has had to fight so hard to keep from being totally crushed by the pounding surf…just as I have had to. Yet, this shell is still out on the beautiful sandy shore…just as I am. Thank you, Lord, that I haven’t been completely crushed by the heaviness in my heart…by the pounding of the surf.
If our world were only filled with perfect shells, we would miss some of life’s most important lessons along the way. We would never learn from adversity…from pain…from sorrow.
Thank You, Lord, for all that I learn from my brokenness…for the courage it takes to live with my pain…and for the strength it takes to remain on the shore.”
Typing the words from my little book cause me to stop and remember…not just my brokenness but so many hurting people I know who are in sorrowful seasons. Then, I think of all God’s children across the whole world who are broken and am overcome with the wonder of it all. God loves His children and promises to bind our wounds and heal our broken hearts in His Word. And He will!
Being still and knowing that God is with me…with you…I feel led to close this week’s story with an earnest plea for all people, especially those who feel broken today. Take time to re-read this message, read God’s Word, and realize that you are so beautiful to the One who made you and to those He put in place to love and cherish you as long as you shall live. I love you in the name of Jesus Christ who loved us so much that He gave His life that we might be saved from sin. He is our HOPE to refresh our souls over and over again and again…until He calls us Home to spend eternity with Him!
Next week, I will share the rest of my little book with a big story of HOPE and LOVE!
Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.