Hope is essential to life. Hope pulls life forward and helps us move forward in face of adversity. Where there is hope, there is a way. Holding on to hope is imperative for a thriving life. And if you look for hope in nature, I believe you can find it perfectly represented by the Sakura (cherry blossom).
Every year these trees announce the arrival of Spring in a most spectacular way. As the brown cold of winter gives way to warmer temperatures, the Sakura coordinate its blooming to coincide with the greening of the grass and the sprouting of spring leaves. A seemingly dead landscape bursts to life in what is nothing short of a miraculous, seemingly overnight change. It is that miraculous change that we highlight in this episode of Life in Japan.
A Hope that Holds
The arrival of hope in our hearts is like the arrival of Spring. When hope comes, it flowers and the cold, dead corners of life suddenly burst to life. For this hope to hold, it must be anchored in something more permanent than the Sakura petals that come and soon go. Yes, hope must be anchored to a source that is constant. The better the source, the more lasting the hope.
For me, I have found no better hope than the hope I have in the love of God. This love is more than just a happy feeling or a positive thought. The extent of this great love was perfectly expressed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus shows the full extent of God’s love and is in fact the very embodiment of love. God’s love for people didn’t condemn people for their failures, but forgave them and healed them. God’s love in Jesus took our failures, our shame and our sickness on the cross and there were put to death with Jesus. And today, Good Friday, is a special day of remembrance for people all over the world of this great sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf.
But the story didn’t end there, because God’s love was bigger than death itself and raised Jesus from the grave. Yes, only three days later came resurrection Sunday— EASTER— and that day is the day of Jesus’ ultimate triumph over sin, death and the grave.
Your story may seem over, that the best days of life seem to have come and gone. Maybe you find yourself in a place of little or no hope. I would love nothing more than for you to find the true source of hope in the love of God in Jesus that changes everything and can make even the darkest of winters bloom into a beautiful sakura spring of hope. This hope speaks to our hearts that the best is yet to come and that in any situation, no matter how bleak, there is a sakura spring just around the corner.