A couple of weeks ago I took a hike in one of my favorite parks. A bad storm came through the area last summer and the park was closed for several months because of all the trees that were knocked down. In many spots on the trails you have to walk through 3-foot gaps that have been chain-sawed out of fallen trees.
Some trees have been entirely ripped from the ground. Their gnarled roots point up to the blue sky instead of down into the rich, black soil that was their home. Some of the trees are leaning, and it’s hard to know if they will recover. Every tree in the park looks dead, however, whether standing tall or almost horizontal. They are still in their winter dormant period, resting and waiting. It’s nature’s way.
So it is with people.
Faith – The strongest faith can have periods of doubt. Maybe you’re just not feeling it. Keep praying, keep trying. Even if it seems you are merely going through the motions, there is merit in the exercise. It helps keep you close so you can hear the call when it comes again.
Don’t give up on faith.
Hope – Life is not easy. Much of it is plain hard. But it is also made up of many, many small moments of quiet contentment, laughter and connection. Something as simple as a favorite, old song coming on the radio can raise a smile. A wave of pure joy can rush in when you least expect it, rush in to lift you up.
When despair threatens to swamp you, remember the good times. Look for them because they will come again.
Don’t give up on hope.
Love – Every relationship goes through a cooling period. The ordinariness of everyday life can smother passion. Love changes with time, and when it does, you may not recognize it. Realize that love may still be there, just different.
Romantic love may not be for you. There are other kinds of love that are no less precious: love of family, for a child, for friends, and the love of God, which is evergreen.
Don’t give up on love.
When it seems that faith, hope or love is gone, cling to the belief that they are dormant, not dead. As long as life remains there is the possibility that tomorrow will be better.
Don’t give up – spring will come.