Just last week I picked (and ate) this strawberry from our garden. How did that happen??? Unusual circumstances. This summer we had a LONG drought. When the regular rainfall returned, many of our plants were confused. Several of our starwberry plants put out new blossoms and a few even had fruit, like the one in the picture. Now, granted, it wasn't as big as the usual strawberries are in June, but it was a welcome surprise!
Do you find yourself in what you would call "unusual circumstances" often? As Christians, our lives should seem unusual to others, our words and actions should be different from the world around us. How can we give an answer to the question about the reason for our hope (1 Peter 3:15) if those around us never ask? Maybe they're not asking because we look, talk, & act just like everyone else. That is a sad commentary on our lives. We should be different. We are called to be different (Romans 12:2)!
It's not always easy to live in unusual circumstances, in fact, it's usually quite difficult, and maybe our fruit is not as big as we would like. But that is not an excuse to stop living a life that follows Christ. Imitating Christ requires us to live a life of sacrifice and selflessness. These are hard things to do, especially in this world of "more everything!" Are not your family, your friends, and your eternal destiny more important than "things?" When struggles arise, as Christians, we are called to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9). I know, it's not easy. It can be a special challenge when the other person is also a Christian. We tend to think "why me, why do I always have to be the peacemaker, why can't they ever give in?" Guess what? Toughen up cupcake, because God calls YOU to do the right thing (forgive, offer grace, turn the other cheek) whether the other person ever matures or not.
Marriage is hard, parenting is hard, LIFE is hard! But take heart, Jesus has come to give you life, and that more abundantly!!!
So stop. Pray. Forgive.
An amazing thing will happen, your joy will return. Maybe the fruit will be small, that's ok, it's still a gift from God, your loving Heavenly Father, who wants to give you an abundant life, a life filled with Him.
Next week, tomorrow, today, choose that abundant life. Choose to walk away from your own selfishness, choose to follow Christ. One day, someone will ask, and you'll be ready to give an answer for your hope!
If you're still searching for that hope, Jesus offers it to everyone. You can find out more. Read your Bible (you can find a free version online here,) or visit our friend at Reasons for Hope here.
Praying you find God walking right beside you in all your unusual circumstances. He's there, you just have to look!