We took the girls berry picking last weekend. I know, we’re SO Alaskan now, right? We followed some friends a few miles into our favorite place - Hatcher Pass - and they knew exactly where to pull over. We stepped out of the car into a field full of berry bushes. We would have never even noticed this field of berry treasure if we weren’t following someone who already knew about it.
Most of the berries are well-hidden underneath their leaves’ protection. Bradlee aimlessly wandered for a bit, and got frustrated about not finding any berries. When we showed her where they were, she came alive - picking and eating berry after berry.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the balance between providence and hope. I wrote in January that our “word for the year” is providence :: the protective care of God. Providence can't really be defined outside of a spiritual meaning, as it is closely associated with belief in a God who divinely interacts in our lives.
But does that leave room for hope? Or do we just live our lives and assume that whatever happens is God’s divine providence - at the very least His divine will? Do we hope or expect good things? Or is that too vulnerable for our hearts - what if our hopes are let down?
We told our girls we’d take them berry picking. What if they got to the field and assumed that there weren’t any berries there? When they didn’t see them at first, did we just get in the car and leave? No - that would have been weird. We told them we were going berry picking, so they trusted us and assumed that there were indeed berries there. It just took a little bit of effort on our part to find them.
But don’t we do that? We identify as children of the King but too often we forget (or are stopped by fear) to ask our Father for His good gifts. We live in His Kingdom without the Kingdom benefits - we wander around the berry fields and don’t pick any berries.
What are some Kingdom berries you haven’t asked God for yet that you could ask Him for today? Maybe it’s a physical healing. Maybe it’s a situation that feels out of your hands that only He could divinely orchestrate? Maybe it’s a constant worry or fear that’s on your mind - His Kingdom is a place where faith and belief preside over fear and anxiety.
I was reminded recently that faith is the substance of things hoped for. That word substance means it’s tangible. We can feel it.
Providence and Hope can co-exist. This life isn’t just happenstance - it is a beautiful overlap of God’s Kingdom coming near, breaking through, into our reality. Allow yourself to hope, to believe for the things unseen.