At the end of The Lord of the Rings, after the Ring is destroyed and Sauron defeated, Aragorn becomes King of Gondor. But he’s still a bit worried because he’s waiting for a sign that he will have descendants and his line will continue to rule Gondor after he dies. He frets about this for a while until Gandalf takes him to see that sign.
They go up into the mountains, and they find a tree. Now, this isn’t just any tree. It is descended from the very first tree. There haven’t been many of those, and the last one had been dead for quite a while. Turns out a seed from that last tree had been planted in the mountains ages ago and waited for the right time to grow.
Now. They find the tree about three months after the destruction of the Ring. But the tree isn’t three months old; it’s six years old.
Six years ago no one had any idea how or when or even if Sauron would be defeated. The situation was bad but far from desperate. As things got scarier and darker and hope faded in the rest of the world, the right time to grow arrived, and that tree quietly grew in the mountains, alone, unnoticed, unexpected. So when life got better and the sign was needed, the tree was ready.
Sometimes life stinks. Sometimes life stinks for a long time. But sometimes good things are developing simultaneously. You might not see any of the process, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going on. God can see the big picture, and he knows what he’s doing. And that ought to be a hopeful thought.