Archive for July, 2017

“They will be called trees of righteousness, a planting of The Lord, that He may be glorified” (Isiah 61:3)

I was standing on the shopping centres’ roof top, looking out over the surroundings.
My gaze fell on some tree fellers, who were busy cutting a very big and sturdy tree down, bit by bit. The tree was huge in all aspects. It had a trunk that would take at least four people holding hands, to be able to encircle it. It towered up very high and its branches umbrella-ed out far and wide.

Over the next five days, I watched as this majestic tree was taken down bit by bit.
This tree was in the backyard of a house. My eyes travelled a few meters to the nearby public park, filled with its own large trees scattered here and there. I noticed two butterflies frolicking in the tree tops and a few bees buzzing on the tiny fruit flowers. A pair of doves were “ making out” in one of the other trees. Underneath, several road workers were lying in its shade, undoubtedly napping during their lunch break.
Under another tree a mother sat, nursing her baby, while chatting to a friend.

It was my lunch break too. I normally go up to the rooftop in order to get away from my work desk and get some fresh air and sunlight, hoping to have some” quiet time with God”
This particular week I was quite troubled. My husband and me have been subject to some relationship conflicts regarding our immediate family but also within our spiritual family in our church. I have been checking my heart to try and diagnose any offenses but could not pin point any. Where I felt I may have been judgemental or possibly erred, I confessed.

The question in my heart that week, as I walked up to the rooftop was ;” Lord, how is it, when you step into ministry, that you get attacked so much, by non believers and believers? Is it something we are doing wrong? Surely we should be an instrument of peace, love and reconciliation?”

It was at this point, mulling over the question in my heart, that my eyes fell on the tree being felled and as I watched the trees from the rooftop, the verse in Isaiah 61 popped up loud and clear.

“yes Lord. I know that you see those who are saved, as trees of righteousness. Right now, however I feel like those in ministry is like this tree being felled.
We should be a safe haven for Your grace ( butterflies) to constantly filter through our leaves and bring beauty to those around us.
We should be a resting place and a place for people and families to “nest” in our branches.
We should be a place of shade and rest and comfort to those around us.”

On this particular day, the wind was blowing mercilessly. I would have to comb and fix my hair before stepping back behind my desk. As I looked out, the tree tops were swaying heavily, loosing leaves all over. The people far down below, however were un affected by the wind, as was the smaller shrubs from the houses down below.

“the stronger your faith and growth in Me become, the higher you grow up just like these trees. This is good ,as it affords you vision far beyond those who are still in the infant stage of their walk. But it does however positions you to be subject to strong opposing winds as well. Our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of the air.”

As I was giving thought to what God just said, I saw a gardener busy sweeping the garden of a house nearby. The leaves and fruits that have fallen from the tree, have made quite a mess. The purple fruit caused big blotches all over the cement underneath it, undoubltly being a slipping hazard too, should someone step on it. A hadida takes off from the branches of that tree, but not before he deposits some bird droppings also on the cement below. As he takes off I see a movement in the branches of the same tree and I notice a cat. No doubt, this was a failed bird stalking attempt for the cat.

How different this picture is from the nesting birds, fluttering butterflies and sleeping relaxing workers in the shade.

This tree is no different from any of the other trees! Yet just being a tree, by nature, has caused him to “ be an irritation” and “inconvenience” to those around him. Yes, he also provides nesting opportunities and breeding ground for the insects and shade.
But he also causes a mess around him and attracts “poachers” And all of this has happened by no doing of its own, but by default, by just the mere fact of BEING a tree.

“in this world you will have many troubles, but take heart, I have overcome…”

A sudden picture of the The Passion pops up in my minds eye of Jesus on the road to Calvary.

Jesus was a root , a tender branch form the tribe of Judah. Many found rest and comfort in the shelter of His branches. Many got healed by His fruits. People were drawn to Him from far and wide as He towered out above the crowds. Grace fluttered around him in huge abundance. The disciples too ate from his fruit and was send out to “pollinate” other trees of Gods planting….. And yet He got taken out.

And so it is with us!
Our leaves will be leaves of healing to some, but a source of irritation to others.
Our fruit will be food to some and an inconvenience to others.
Our strength will get opposed by the forces of the air and our very planting may be an obstruction to others.
And all of this, just because we are a planting of The Lord.
For no other reason.

The next morning as I walk to work, an entire stretch of trees are being felled.
Not because they are causing a mess.
Not because they are an obstruction.
But because they have become infected with white ants.
They have become unstable and a danger to those around them.

“whoever do not bear fruit will be cut down by The Lord…”

Lord!! That You will indeed search my heart and see if there is any offensive ways in me and lead me along your paths of truth! Lord I make You my hope and my confidence. Let me be like a tree planted by your streams. Make my roots go deep. Let me not be worried by drought and opposing winds, but bear fruit in and out of season. Protect me from being cut down by men without Your will but above all, by Your grace may I never be cut down by You, because I have become diseased and fruitless.

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