Hope, When You’re Ready to Give Up

January 12, 2015 | 20 comments

A farmer from up the road tapped his knuckles on our back door several years ago. I opened the door and found him standing on the doormat, with his fists shoved into a thick quilted jacket with a corduroy collar. He showed up at our house on a really hard day, during a really hard year.

The farmer’s eyes looked softer than I’d remembered before.

“Scott home yet?” he asked.

“No,” I told him. “Still doing chores.”

“Well,” the farmer continued. “You just tell him that I stopped by because I want him to know something for certain. I want him to know that the harvest always comes. You’ll let him know?”

I nodded my head, grateful for the encouragement of in experienced farmer’s words, but not sure I really believed him.

Life had dealt us some harsh blows that year. My father-in-law, Paul, had passed away, and my husband was trying to figure out how to run this farm on his own. We had felt the mercy of God that spring, when the crops grew tall, thickening over the rows so everything green was touching. There was something so beautiful and hopeful about that. It felt like everything was going to be okay, even though Paul’s old John Deere cap drooped, sad, on a nail by the back door.

Still, we had hope.

But then came October. We awoke one morning to find that a thick, white blanket of snow had covered all the crops. Not a single plant had been harvested, and the snow stole the hopefulness we felt earlier that year. It felt like a punch in the gut.

But then, that farmer showed up on our doorstep to tell us it was going to be okay. He came to let us know that it was still safe to hope. He came to remind us what the Good Book says about hope in hard times. “… at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

Friend, I don’t know what harvest you’re waiting for. I don’t know what storm has stolen your hope. Maybe you’re reading these words when you’re on your last dime, at the end of your frayed rope, or on the ragged brink of your sanity. God sees you. He sees how you’ve been pouring into the people you love, and what you’ve been pouring into your everyday work. And He wants you to know that your dedication is not in vain. “… at the proper time we will reap a harvest.”

And today, I’m the friend at your back door, tapping my knuckles to see if you’re home. I’m standing here, on the doormat, to tell you the same thing the old farmer told me: “The harvest comes.”

And I’m here to tell you that the farmer was right. Weeks after he stood on our stoop, the harvest did come.

Don’t give up, friend. God is still in this.

Today’s the day to believe it: At the proper time, you will reap a harvest, just as He promised.

by | January 12, 2015 | 20 comments

20 Comments

  1. Emma

    Thank you for this Jennifer. Hope found me as my word this year, 12 days in & the hard seems really hard. Thank you for the reminder that God still has it, regardless of feelings or circumstance.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      HOPE is a GREAT word for any year, and I’m glad the word found you. I’ve been thinking and praying and writing a lot lately about hope and about hard things. Hope is the only way through. Thank you, Emma.

      Reply
  2. Deb Anderson Weaver

    Timely encouragement, indeed. Thank you.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You are so welcome, Deb. I’m glad these words found you, at just the right time. God is good.

      Reply
  3. Julie Mumme Smith

    Ever so timely…another reminder that God is omnipresent… Thank you…

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      So glad that the words reached you when you needed them, Julie.

      Reply
  4. Trudy Den Hoed

    Such an encouragement, Jennifer. Thank you! “God is still in this!”

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I’m glad the words spoke to you, Trudy. Have a great week.

      Reply
  5. Pam Cason

    God used that farmer to speak encouragement to your heart on that day years ago, and HE has used you on this day to speak encouragement to my heart. Thank you!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      That farmer’s name was Les, and he left such a hole in the hearts of many people in our area when he suddenly passed away, not too many months after he appeared on my doorstep. His wisdom lives on.

      Reply
  6. Martha Orlando

    Amen, Jennifer! Thank you, my dear, for these most encouraging words which filled me with fresh hope today!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hey Martha! Thanks for popping into the comment box here today. Glad the words encouraged you.

      Reply
  7. Kelly Stanley

    This is so good. A couple years ago, with the drought, our family’s farms were a mess. And then we got hit with a hailstorm—not the answer we were hoping for. Turns out, it was exactly the answer we needed… because we had hail insurance, the crops weren’t a complete loss. “Thank God for the hail” became my motto. You never know how God will provide. And you (and the farmer) are correct: the harvest WILL come. I wrote about my experience here: http://www.prayingupsidedown.com/thank-god-for-the-hail/

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Such a remarkable story, Kelly. A great example of praying upside down. Your book is going to transform prayer lives… I just know it!

      Reply
  8. Jacqui Hodges

    Jennifer-Thanks so much for being such an encourager to me today. God’s timing on the publishing of this post was perfect. My husband and I are dealing with a situation in regards to our church home, and we are still just trusting and believing that God is in the situation. Thanks again. Blessings!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You know, it’s crazy how God works. I second-guessed this post, for a whole bunch of reasons that I won’t get into here. But I followed the nudge and wrote and published it. And there are so many people who’ve responded by email that they needed to know the simple truth about God being in this with us. I’m so glad the words served your heart, Jacque, and I am praying for you now … that God would lead you with the situation about your church home. I am trusting God with you, that He is aware of this issue, and has a plan … a good plan for you.

      Reply
  9. sunn

    Needed to hear this. Having to move from our acreage and home soon. Unsure where we’re headed.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Sunn, when I read your words, I think of Abraham who, by faith, when he was called to, he went, not knowing where he was going. May God guide you, as He guided Abraham. May He make your path clear, and may you experience His peace as you move forward. I am praying.

      Reply
  10. Sharon

    Kinda my situation. pls pray for me dear family in Christ. Situations are so messed up in my life…my job my graduation n my personal relationship. Everything turned out upside down like no1can ever imagine or explain… Pls kindly pray.i don’t have words to explain the situations but still i believe if you all pray about me… My situation is going to change… he’s the one in control…i just want God to release it on me.
    Thank u all for praying.

    Reply
  11. Jane

    Thank you for sharing your heart and message. I so needed it.

    Reply

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