Tag Archive | barren

Afterglow

Now it has been 7 months since my “reboot”.  God has been amazing! I’m sure you’re thinking, “she writes that every time!” It seems to me that I know God is omnipotent and omnipresent. My human brain cannot fathom some of the miracles I have seen! It could be a cultural concept – keeping God in a box. I am as normal as I ever have been, whatever that means! I am determined not to forget what miracle God has done for my family. This weekend, we celebrated community and life with our wonderful friends who happen to be neighbors, about 35 of them! One of the neighborhood contact points for September’s traumatic event told us how he wanted news, but knew that was NOT our priority. He was patient, but had to respond every few hours to emails and texts from others inquiring if there was any update. This was my first time to hear his side.  He was talking about how amazing my healing has been. I went from critical with not much chance, to I will live but what brain function will be lost, to walking, to leaving the hospital and flying home the next day. A rare outcome for someone with all the medical issues I had. God is faithful and I know He has more planned. I heard song lyrics: “the best is not done, the best is yet to come.” That is how life is with Abba, Jehovah Rapha, Elohim, our Heavenly Father. When it seems you are in a dry place, remember God has a “waiting room” for you while He is getting things prepared for His plan.

tulip_field_by_kitsunekari02-d3fftka

Scripture: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit” John 12:24

lg

Pruning is good for me!

Pruning

A good farmer knows how to prune his fruit trees, rose bushes, nut trees, etc. It’s work that’s done in the non-growing season. The tree ends up looking quite bare, almost dead. This past winter, I pruned my rose bush down to a 6 inch stub. Afterward, I was concerned that I had pruned too much and actually had killed the rose bush. Within a few weeks, I saw new shoots coming out of it! Now, I have beautiful roses blooming.

This is what God does to us. We aren’t always in a growing season. When the “off” season hits, that’s our pruning time. God is the Master Gardener. He uses skilled hands to tenderly and lovingly remove branches for maximum growth. And when spring comes, beautiful blooms. He takes off the things that are holding us back: complacency, un-forgiveness, hatred, gossip, etc.

For me, this pruning is not always fun. In fact, I like staying in my comfort zone. I have come to realize, that He knows what is best even when I cannot see spring on it’s way. Sometimes, I don’t get it until much later when I can look back at the difficult pruning.

I pray that I allow the pruning and it produces His beauty in me.

lg

I feel like a house in need of renovation.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????

So often I feel like a work-in-progress, a puzzle with pieces in the wrong places, a house in need of renovation…

My father was, among other things, a farmer. He knew how to prepare the land, plant the seeds, cultivate and harvest many types of plants. He learned to prune trees for bigger and better yields. 

Trees may look “good”, but still need the pruning for growth and health, to keep the fruit from being to crowded. After pruning, a tree looks barren. This reminds me of a shaggy dog after being shaved! EXPOSED! The dog’s hair will grow back without knots or tangles, for a time. Then it will need grooming. I am that way too – minus the knots and tangles!

I may look good, but maybe I’m not growing the way I should be growing. That’s when Sculptor God reshapes. Reshaping includes changes that: won’t be fun, pushing me out of my comfort zone, things not going the way I prefer, exposing.  Yes, sometimes it hurts to grow. Ever heard of growing pains?

God sees the final piece of art. His eye evaluates the piece of art that is me. When something isn’t quite the way it should be, He redirects/sculpts/prunes. This is to help me grow and produce healthy fruit.

Have you ever felt like a  work-in-progress? Join us at our January 22nd meeting. More information in our Events tab.

Lyrics from Laura Story’s “Blessings”
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the achings of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

 

lg

Barren? Useless? A Waste of Time? That’s What YOU Think!

How quick we are to scrutinize, label, and condemn our own effectiveness!  In a culture that thrives on branding and labeling anything and everything, we hasten to assess and label ourselves before the rest of the world can do so.  We announce that we are fat, ugly, inept, uncoordinated, ignorant, incapable, or unintelligent — often before anyone has even considered viewing us as such.  That way, we reason, we beat everyone else to the punch!  We proclaim as truth the things we are certain that other people will think about us — regardless of whether or not our proclamations are valid.

Perhaps we even believe that God has called us to be involved in certain relationships for the purpose of showing them His love, kindness, support, or generosity.   Perhaps we are trying hard to simply be gracious to a difficult family member or to be helpful to a less-than-receptive neighbor.  After a few attempts to muster our courage and do what we feel called to do, we sense our efforts are fruitless, ineffective, and even ridiculous.  We lose heart and decide that we are useless to God and everybody else.  All our efforts are futile, and we see no change in our situation or anyone else’s attitudes.  There you have it:  we brand ourselves as barren and useless and our efforts as fruitless.

Think about it, though . . . moments after planting a seed in the ground, do we run back outside and yell at that seed?  Do we scream that it is a stupid, worthless, good-for-nothing seed because it has not sprouted ten minutes after being planted?  When there is no seedling visible the next day, do we continue reviling it as barren and hopelessly unproductive the next day?  I, for one, have not done that (yet!), and I do not know anyone who has.  Calling a seed barren before it has a chance to even sprout would be ridiculous!  It is a fact that some of the most significant creative growth happens to that seed before it ever shows signs of sprouting up through the soil.  Similarly, a baby experiences the most miraculous and mysterious phase of development before his or her presence is even visible on an ultrasound screen.  Much of God’s creative work is accomplished in secret — in the places we cannot see with our human eyes or comprehend with our limited understanding.  In fact, God knows that we lack skill in perceiving His work.  He declares: “See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19a)

Moreover, even if we COULD accurately and consistently perceive the work and fruit of God’s hand in our lives, God never assigned us the job of Holy Fruit Inspector!  We need to repent of our haste in pronouncing ourselves barren and useless and instead embrace His life.   He is faithful to finish what He has begun in us (Philippians 1:6), and His life in us WILL produce fruit that remains (John 15:16).