My family and I watched You've Got Mail the other night - a fitting movie for Valentine's week and the hope of spring. I love how the seasons are so prominent in the movie: from the beginning with the "bouquet of sharpened pencils" reference celebrating New York in the fall, to the Christmas festivities, and the lovely ending full of the sunny days and blooming flowers of spring. The Shop Around the Corner, the heroine's children's bookstore, gets re-decorated for each new holiday/season (reminds me of our house - my mom really enjoys decorating!). It so beautifully mirrors the changes in Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox's relationship, as well as the loss and renewal of Kathleen's dreams for her life.
The symbolism of the seasons is full of hope. Circumstances won't stay the same. We won't stay the same. We can grow and learn and see things come to pass that we would never have dreamed for ourselves - but that eventually lead to greater blessings than we could ever have imagined.
The Director of College Ministries at our church shared a sermon this morning on the book of Haggai, emphasizing over and over again the idea that we need to "read to the end of the book." Many times in Scripture situations look bleak or tragic or hopeless, but they don't last forever. Our college director noted that he loves to open up to a place in Scripture and just start teaching from there - but then he wondered about books like Jeremiah. He said that there are spots where it would be really hard to share an "encouraging word." He realized, however, that if he just kept reading long enough, there would always be something encouraging to share.
There is hope. The story starts with the fall of mankind, but it ends with the stand of our Savior. The pages of our own stories are part of God's book - and there is a happily-ever-after, after all. =)
But aren't we glad that things did change, in the end? And aren't we glad at that last scene for all that they had been through together?
"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass....
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him....
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand."
~ Psalm 37:5, 7a, 23-24 ~
Whatever season you're currently in, if you are following God, "you've got hope." May the upcoming transition between winter and spring remind you of that hope that you have!
(DVD cover image from IMDb.com.)