‘For there is hope for a tree,
if it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
For many the book of Job is very comforting. Job, who may have lived at the time of Abraham, was a model of the blessed person with wife, children, enormous flocks and fields. But the book opens with Evil challenging God that Job only loves God because of the blessings he experiences from God. God gives Evil permission to test Job and remove all the blessings. Job’s friends come and dialogue with Job that he must have done something wrong to merit his problems in life but Job responds that he has not done evil. He desires an audience with God to plead his case. Job clings to his faith even when all factors in life seem to be against him.
The image Job uses here at this point in the conversation is of a tree that is cut down but when it rains the stump puts forth new shoots. In the same way, life can cut us down and make us despair but faith believes in the God who is always present and working for the good of the person. We may not understand and we may be in great pain but faith continues to believe. Faith hopes. We cling to the resurrection in the face of death.
So what is your image of hope? Perhaps it may not be a tree. I must admit I loved living in areas where there are four distinct seasons. The barren trees always seem so lifeless but then spring comes and leaves appear and suddenly the horizon is green. Birth always speaks of hope. What speaks to you of hope today?
H is for……
O is for…..
P is for…..
E is for…..
Focus on the source of that hope, the God who gives growth and new life. Blessings.