Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Right In My Own Backyard- Part 3: An Explanation

Ok.  So I have to come back to my backyard pictures just one more time for a little discussion.  I know you are tired of looking at a tree but hear me out.  Originally, I posted those pictures because I just knew God was speaking to me, revealing his presence, providing comfort, clarity, and grace to me in a very obvious, and tangible way.  And I felt certain that by posting those pictures, you would see and feel God at work too.  A few of you understood exactly where I was going in the posts, or you pretended you did out of genuine love (thanks Mom and Sis).  Just be honest, though, many of you wondered what in the world I was rambling about, and some of you probably figured I was off in space somewhere losing my mind.  Maybe you didn't want to say it, but you might have been thinking, "Oh brother!  Here we go, an over-the-top Christian who has become so self involved, she's loosing touch with reality."  I can suggest that possible thought because I have had those kind of awkward encounters myself.  For some of you, the backyard picture posts may have supported your suspicion that I was grasping at straws to paint a picture of faith that isn't really there.  After all we see what we want to see, and we can justify almost any belief if we work hard enough these days, right?  Yikes!

Let me explain.  The third time's a charm, hopefully.  The tree is a metaphor for our lives. We can look at it through our own eyes, and it is just a fragile, weak, bare tree with scraggly, empty branches.  We hope and long for the day it's in full bloom.  There's so much potential there, but it just isn't much to look at for the moment.

Or, we can recognize our own need to look up and see the world with God.  That's where we find the beauty and majesty that tree has had all along.  When we look up, we find the real treasures in this life that are right in front of us.

We can realize our God given potential because we accept the cross and the gift of new life, grace, and peace God offers us and shows us in our true light and savior, Jesus Christ.

Then our lives really start to bloom.  We can't see the big picture in all it's glory, but God can.

So, now that I think about it.  It makes sense that you may not see the cross I see so clearly in my picture.

When we look to God and make room for him, he is ready and willing to meet each of us wherever we are in our faith journeys as long as we let him in.  He knows us better than we know ourselves because he created us (Genesis 1:27-28, Psalm 139).  He loves us unconditionally, strengths and weaknesses, successes and screw ups.  He reveals himself to each of us in real ways at just the right time.  Every part of us can be a part of God's perfect purpose when we are willing to accept the promises of the cross and give in to its transforming power.  The apostle Paul knew all of this when he said,

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work."

How God comes to us, and where we see him at work, what parts of us need transforming and healing, that's personal and unique to our own intimate relationships with God and his plan for us.  Your relationship with God and the promises that come with accepting the reality of the cross (and mine), are right in front of you (and me) everywhere you (and I) go, backyard or not.  Just seek it.  We will find the treasure we have in Christ (Matthew 7:8).
Where are you struggling the most in your life right now?  Look for God, and make room for him there.  You will find the cross and the saving grace we have in Christ.

My prayer for you today-

Lord and Savior,
I thank you for each person that reads this blog.  I pray these words open our hearts and minds to you.  Thank you for knowing each of us better than we know ourselves.  I pray that you will comfort and strengthen us with your presence and saving grace every time we look for you and let you in.  We give you our individual struggles and pray you will transform our lives, nourishing and growing our relationships with you in the ways only you know best.  May we live the pure joy and peace that comes from walking hand in hand with you, without hesitation and fear.
In the name of Jesus Christ I pray,
Many blessings,


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