Growing a Better Life

“Wild hope is planting seeds of faith
and expecting orchards of blessings.”
~ Jackie M. Johnson ~

 

Hi! Welcome to my encouragement blog.

My goal is to offer hope-filled and helpful content so life-weary people can find renewed joy, strength, freedom and peace—and discover more about the transforming power of prayer.

Here, you will find content that is practical and inspiring, words that bring back the joy and help you to live a better life.

Let’s start with one of my favorite analogies: how growing a better life is like growing an orchard of fruit trees.

When I was growing up in Wisconsin, I’d often ride my bike past our neighborhood’s apple orchard. In every season I’d watch changes take place. I loved the sweet-smelling, pink apple blossoms in springtime. I remember the warm summer days when we’d climb their gnarly branches, and then pick and eat fresh, ripe apples on brisk, autumn afternoons.

All year long, we’d wait with expectancy for the fruit to come. Growing fruit took time, it was a process, but it was always worth the wait.

In life, there is a growing season and a process too.

If we want to cultivate a “life in full bloom”—a life of wild hope and renewed joy in all season—we first plant seeds of faith. We surrender. We give Him first place in our lives. We have faith in Him and in God’s wonder-working power in our lives on a day-to-day basis. Believing He will grow a bounteous and better life in us.

We plant. God grows.

He matures us into men and women who live transformed lives: stronger, wiser, loving and courageous people.

And yet, the beauty of flowers in a garden or fruit on trees does not come easy. Neither does “a good life” come easy.

In an apple orchard, growing a bounty of fruit takes time and effort, sunshine and rain, and tending to weeds and pests.

In our lives, it also takes a renewed mindset and better habits. For instance, your thought life determines your actions, which affect your whole life—your choices in fitness, finances, relationships, how you view your self, how you handle conflict, how you bounce back with resilience (or not) from trials, and more.

We surrender our will, our way, our timing of how life should be. God grows and provides the harvest. He transforms us in positively good ways.

We don’t have to worry or doubt. We can trust Him.

We release our cares to God, planting seeds of faith in the soil of hope—faith that one day our seed prayers will grow and come to fruition.

That’s the nature of hope, believing God will provide, that He will answer above and beyond what you’ve asked for—like an entire “orchard” of answered prayers, not just one-fruit bearing tree, God can provide bushel baskets of answered prayers.

Deuteronomy 16:15 encourages us, “For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.”

As we pray, we wait on God and we mature. We grow up on the inside. Character is formed and trust grows. Just as we anticipate the day when round, red fruit will ripen on an apple tree, we look forward with hope to the moment our answers will ready for picking. You and I may be praying about the same thing, but our answers may look different just as apple trees bear all types of apples—like Braeburn, Macintosh or Red Delicious.

We wait with hope, expectant that good things will happen. That one day things will be different, better.

Sometimes we are afraid to hope. We’ve been disappointed and we simply don’t want to be hurt again. But what makes the difference is when we know The One on whom we wait and in whom we trust.

God is amazing. He is wildly good. Despite hard things, and in the midst of tough times, we can choose to believe that God has more for us than we could ever ask or imagine.

Wild hope is planting seeds of faith and expecting orchards of blessings. It’s courageous and expectant—and celebratory—knowing that our great expectations aren’t too large for the great, big God we serve.

He is the true Wild Hope. Unpredictable? Yes. Unexpected? Certainly. He goes far beyond what we can imagine, and leads us into a future we never could’ve dreamed of.

In times of defeat, doubt or discouragement, pray. In times of joy and victory, pray. Know that your prayers really do make a difference. Trust the God of abundance to grow a better life in you.

Harvest time is coming.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Melva
    October 3, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    I just love the way you encouraged us with your writing. One can feel the warm of your heart. God bless you with this beautiful gift.

    • Reply
      Jackie M. Johnson
      October 3, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Thank you! That is so kind. Blessings to you!

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