Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Serendipity of Hope

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

When the unexpected becomes the serendipitous we rejoice. We are glad and our hearts are grateful. When our spirits are fragile, the smallest of blessings can overrun us with their beauty and our sense of sentimentality boldly presents itself. Tears of gratitude are evidence of its effect on us. 

And we are undone. 

This is the beautiful thing that happens when Life touches us. The cords of death are discarded and forgotten in the midst of this passionate display of vibrance and vitality. Life in the face of death is equal to light in the darkness, hope in utter despair. 

Three years ago I clipped a blue hydrangea from my friend’s giant plant to take home and enjoy whilst it bloomed. It rooted while in the vase, so I planted it in soil, and now I have my own hydrangea plant with its own blooms. This was unexpected, and serendipitously so. 

The roots grew from a stem that looked fully dead. The flower itself had dried and all its leaves had fallen off. The roots, though, proved that life still remained. Hope was built in. 

There are times in our lives when all we see looks dead. There doesn’t appear to our hearts or our eyes to be any life at all. Hope feels lost, and without hope, we feel lost. Utterly so. 

The one thing my time in darkness has proven to me is that hope is never fully absent. Life is never obliterated or extinguished. Even in the face of death itself, there is still hope and there is still life. 

Our Jesus made this to be true. Our Father made this to be true. The end of this life is but an end, not the end. Serendipitously following the darkness of Jesus’ death was his beautiful resurrection. All hope was not lost, though every moment prior to his return to life felt hopeless. 

Today we live in a time not all that dissimilar to the three days before Jesus rose. We know our Savior will return, but when? We believe hope is not lost, but it can be so very hard to see. 

We pray for strength to believe in that distant hope, and to walk this present darkness in faith. We long for his return. We wait, sometimes patiently, sometimes restlessly, to see his face. 

I do believe we have hope built in, just like the hydrangea, but it gets buried as life is drained from us. We need the Spirit’s gentle whispers to remind us of the hope that lives within us. 

I hear these words echo in my soul just now as I write, “But those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint” Isaiah 40:31.

And these words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” John 14:1-2. 

Our hope is not in what we see or even in what our hearts can perceive, but in the character of our Creator. Rest in the knowledge of his plan for you and his devotion to you. If hope has eluded you, and if life has felt more like death, I pray that today you will be serendipitously blessed and your hope will be restored, at least for a day. And then tomorrow, may the sun or the wind or the flowers in your view, remind you of the hope that lives in the midst of death. 

May each day and each face you see remind you of his love for you. May hope grow in the fecund soil of your heart. May your life become the serendipitous blessing of hope we all long for!


Educated as a teacher, Sarah taught school for nearly 20 years. As a young woman, she lived in China amid the rice paddies and water buffalo near Changsha, and then later taught English in Costa Rica for four years and raised her two sons.

Sarah is married for the second time, the mother of 2 boys and the step-mother to 3 more. She and her husband, David, work together in their agency The Van Diest Literary Agency. Her full name is Sarah Ruth Gerke Van Diest. She’s 5’5” and cuts her hair when stress overtakes her.

She is a freelance editor (including a New York Times and USA Today bestseller), blogger (The Write Conversation) and writer for hire. Her first book releases with NavPress in 2018. 


  1. Thank you, Sarah. A good reminder❤

  2. A beautiful prayer-like devotional. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, DiAnn! Blessings and hope for a wonderful day!

  3. Wonderful Ms. Sarah. What a gentle reminder that God resides always deep within the roots of our souls. We just have to find the courage to seek Him. God's blessings ma'am...

    1. Thank you, Jim! I always appreciate your thoughts and encouragement!

  4. I'm late again, but this is lovely. Thank you, Sarah.

    1. Late? I would say you have very good timing! :)
      Thank you, Donevy!