I’ve been sort of addicted to nature lately. In fact, I’ve been fascinated with a tree that I hadn’t really noticed just outside my bedroom window. It just sort of popped up. It was actually quite sickly so maybe that’s why it hadn’t phased me before. Well…despite being covered in dead twigs and prickly thorns, it had potential. It needed a little help obviously.
With tools in hand, the snatching, clawing, and cutting began! Dead limbs had to go! A few grueling hours later, the once limp tree bounced back! That’s when it finally registered.
God revealed what I should have grasped years ago. I could hear His whisper in my heart saying,
“Just as you canvassed your backyard visualizing its potential, so I have done the same for you.”
I had been that wilted tree for so many years.
Sure there had been buds of potential here and there, but I too had been bogged down by dead weight. He reminded me how I lived through some powerful storms, yet still managed to hang onto things and people that should have been blown away. The guilt and shame of past mistakes clung to my mind and heart like prickly briers and threatened to cut anyone who dared to get too close to either.
In that moment of reflection, I realized that I’d allowed self-condemnation tangle and twist my perspective of the future God planned. The thorns of depression refused to allow me to receive the forgiveness God had given the moment I’d asked for it.
I needed some help to break free from all the things that had me bound and gagged. As I took to the tree in frenzy to recover what could have been lost so did my Father with the storms He’d allowed me to endure. With every wind of opposition, He’d allowed new life to be revealed.
The experience made me realize how God viewed me, and why He had to go to drastic measures to ensure that I’d bloom as He’d designed. Just as I’d gone through clearing debris and cutting away the things that would hinder a healthy growth of my new tree, He’d allowed the same to occur in my life.
He’d cut people from my life by force because though I’d seen the damage resulting from their presence, I’d done nothing. He allowed the storm of divorce to prune me. Habits die hard so He allowed yet other tempests to blow through to loosen the grasp of habits that had no place in His plan.
Finally, I realized why the tree hadn’t bloomed as so many others in my neighborhood had. This tree bloomed only after we’d experienced one of the worse storms this season.
In the same breath, God also allowed me to realize why it seemed that I was going through so many struggles. Those dead twigs and thistles were holding on for dear life….my life and refused to let go until a strong enough force were able to wash them away.
Even still the mess left behind had to be manually removed. With it removed, my path became clear.
Now, I am able to focus and easily identify the things or people that don’t belong. I thank God for using this little revelation to strengthen my spiritual discernment.
I’m still a work in progress, but I thank God that He is my help when a storm is brewing. I’m grateful I can call on Him anytime! I’m thankful I am no longer weighed down by the dead things of my past, and that now I can do as my tree has been doing. I can lift my hands and praise Him because, after my storms, I’m still standing.
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