By Robin Halvorson
Emily Dickinson once wrote:
“’Hope is a thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops – at all – “
I love the visual of hope as a bird that sings a constant song of redemption and prospect. A song that lasts for all eternity trusting and waiting for a new day. I feel we all can identify with that little bird. No matter the difficulties, there is something within every human heart that clings to hope for a better day.
Several years ago, an EF5 tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma flattening hundreds of homes and killing 24 people. The devastation made national news as one of the worst tornadoes to ever hit the Oklahoma City area. A year after, my husband and I drove through Moore. Evidence of the savage winds remained as people worked to rebuild their homes and businesses. However, I was struck by the community’s ability to continue normal life amidst the debris. We saw families playing in yards while only rubble remained of the house next door. To me, this is a picture of the resilient human heart.
Many of us live day to day carrying remnants of devastation and trauma, perhaps it is a death in the family, a terminal diagnosis, divorce, or a prodigal child. We may wonder how we can rebuild the ruins of such traumatic events that have severely wounded our hearts. Just like that bird, the Holy Spirit sings a song of hope over our hearts. God is constantly calling us back to a place of communion with Him where He heals our wounds, carries our burdens, and rebuilds our hearts through hope in Christ Jesus. Just like Moore, OK, there will be new life among the ruins. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5.
Two and a half years ago both my daughters were diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease, and my husband and I were told they would never walk. To say my heart was devastated would be an understatement. I was flattened; my heart was in ruins. However, as we continue to process and grieve even today, my husband has been excellent at bringing us back to gratitude. Most every morning he stops me and says, “Give me five things you are grateful for.” We share simple things like the joy in our family, the roof over our heads, and our three beautiful children full of life and love. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, enter His courts with praise.” The “gates” in this scripture are referring to the temple of the Old Testament where the manifest presence of God dwelt. So, when the writer says thanksgiving is an entry point through the gates, he is actually saying a thankful heart is entrance into the very presence of God! This simple practice of gratitude sets our minds toward the Lord so when storms hit, as they inevitably do, we are braced by The One who knows all and holds all in His mighty hand.
Beloved, if you feel your life is in ruins today, begin to sow gratefulness in the soil of your heart for I know in due time it will reap a harvest of hope as our God is faithful in all circumstances.
“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” -Romans 5:5
About the author // Robin Halvorson is a part of the Beloved Team. She lives in Roanoke, TX along with her husband, Jordan, two girls, Shiloh & Gabrielle, and her newborn son, Judah. She is a member of New Life Worship and leads worship for Tuesday Night Prayer. She is currently a stay at home mom. With a degree in Communication and Worship Leadership from Oral Roberts University, she was a public speaker for nearly 10 years speaking to students across Texas and the surrounding region about abstinence and bullying.