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Now this was unexpected!

I planted sunflower seeds during the month of May. Like many flower-lovers, I looked forward to having sunflowers this year. They add a bright and bold accent to the landscape in mid-to-late summer here in New York, and they provide a delicious snack for the songbirds in our area.The seeds did not germinate and sprout. Disappointed, I gave up hope of having sunflowers in my flower bed this year. Until last week that is, when I discovered this:

 

A growing sunflower plant.

However, unless the growing season extends well into fall, I still don’t expect to have sunflowers this year. I’ll try again next year.

You and I have faced the unexpected during 2020. The pandemic has forced us to cancel plans and change our expectations for the year, the calendar filled with planned activities suddenly wiped clean. Some of you have faced illness, job loss, financial stress.

The weeds of disappointment, discouragement, and hopelessness have fertile ground to germinate and grow under such conditions. In life we need hope, something that instills in each of us a desire to continue on, a tiny spark that indicates life is worthwhile and will get better.

If you’re feeling discouraged, you’re not alone. Be honest with your feelings. If you need help, don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for it. Separation from family and friends doesn’t mean complete isolation. Call someone, send them a “thinking of you” note, offer to shop for a senior citizen. Offering hope and comfort to someone else will help l give you focus and purpose outside yourself.

Although my faith wavers at times, I still have hope. I miss my family, my friends, and aspects of my life I’ve had to set aside for now. I’m witnessing a great battle going on that is tearing at the social and moral fiber of our nation. My source of hope is Jesus Christ.

I don’t understand the “why” of what has been happening.  I believe it is a spiritual battle between the forces of good and evil. I can trust Jesus with the present and the future. He sacrificed His life and came alive again to give us eternal life, a present and future hope through faith. He said, “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)Keep hoping. Keep praying.