This morning I was looking over my journals for the past year. I noticed one sketch that repeated itself over and over again in maybe 25 different variations. So I asked God, "Did you want to tell me something about that?" And I believe He did. =)
I looked at my trees some more and realized, I am the tree. I mean, I knew the scripture about "the righteous oak planted of the Lord that He might be glorified" and Isaiah 58:11 above but all of a sudden all of my many tree sketches became amazingly precious and personal messages sent over a years time from Heaven to me. It's one thing to read the scripture and understand you are a tree but quite another to have God have you sketch out all the many ways you are to BE THE TREE THAT GLORIFIES.
Looking out my back door into our woods, I noticed all the different types of trees and thought about all the different purposes they serve here on earth. Many of them are going to get chopped down, most will go unnoticed, and almost all of ours have been peed on by our dogs and little boy. Such is life of the eternal trees too, yes? The 'rewards' we get from the recipients of most of our outpouring of grace, service and outreach here on earth can sting. That's why I believe God focused my attention on the roots of my tree sketches- drawing my attention to what I was grounding my security in, making sure I was planted firmly in His life giving, never ending supply. It's this affirming supply of life giving love that says to me when the people I love and serve hurt or slander me, "just as I have loved you, go and love them." I also noticed something else about the trees in my sketches and the trees outside in my woods- they all have ONE SOURCE. My tree sketches get all they need from God: they get their "well done good and faithful servant" from God, they give all they give from what they get from God and their branches praise God.... every last sketchy tree =). As I look outside, all the trees are waving their arms. I think they are praise dancing.
God has a plan and purpose for each tree He plants. I believe He wants to talk to all of us eternal trees today---such a time as this. So go get out your journal and ask Him a question!
This prayer hit my lips with much passion this morning after my sweet journal aha:
“Don’t pray that God would teach you how to love like He loves; pray that He would fill you with Himself and that He would love in and through you. Don’t pray that He would teach you to have joy; pray that the living God full of joy would enter into you. Don’t pray that He would teach you how to be peaceful; ask for the God of peace, the Prince of peace to infill you. Because if you try to imitate in your own strength, you will be a miserable replica. But if you allow the impartation of Jesus Christ to overtake you, suddenly it all works because it is Him imitating Himself, and He is very good at being God.” -Eric Ludy from THE GOSPEL
BE REAL. BE GENEROUS. BE LOVE. BE THE TREE.
But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. -1 John 3:17-18
He who is generous will be blessed, For he gives some of his food to the poor. -Proverbs 22:9
Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. -Philippians 2:4
"This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you." -John 15:12
'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' -Matthew 25:35-40