“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” John 15:8
It is coming to closing time for my husband and I to move on to his next duty station. Since we have been here there have been so many blessings that it’s hard to count them all. Spending time with both of our families, mending those broken relationships and meeting some truly amazing people that will be lifelong friends. We were even blessed by being able have another baby and also found the time to do major clean up/renovation to our new property. Looking back on it now I’m not certain how we had time to do all the things that we got accomplish.
One of the biggest things that changed for me was when I rededicated my life to the Lord last April. At first I experienced a lot of depression and battled some past wounds that were in desperate need to be healed. I found myself focusing on all my failures and not on Christ and what he had accomplished on the cross. Honestly, I did not have a real good picture of what grace or salvation was all about. Unfortunately at first I felt like I had been called to a life filled with legalism, lack of love, confusion, and full of doubt. There were just a lot of unanswered questions that needed to be explained. I’m so thankful now that the Lord has delievered me from those bondages and shown me his love.
A few months into my journey I found myself sitting outside at a church picnic table. It must have been written all over my face that I was struggling and was only making the best of being there. One of the brothers came up to me and asked, “Sister, which tree is the strongest between an oak tree and a pine tree”? Very hesitant I said, “An oak of course”. “Good” he said. “Which one grows faster yet would be more easily blown down if a storm was to rise upon it”? I thought for a minute and said, “A pine of course because the roots are so shallow”. “Great, now how does that apply to the Christian Life”? Then he went on to explain that an oak is more deeply rooted into the Earth (which is the word of God). Even though it grows much slower, it’s a lot stronger as where the pine grows faster and it is more easily blown down when a storm or “trial of life” comes along. At that moment a light came on and realized that I was battling my identity of which out of the two that I really was. Then the blessing came knowing that even though I was that little sapling, there was great hope of knowing someday I’ll be that mighty oak. Praise God!!!
So I began to slowly grow in the Lord. Then about a year later I reached a point where I lost my focus and all I could do was compare my walk with other Christians. Have you ever been there? I thought well if my circumstances were different then I could live a better life too. If I had faith like Mrs. So and So, I would be able to move mountains too!!!! We are all guilty of looking at what we do and not getting our focus back on Christ. So once again I found myself outside church sitting on another picnic table only to meet a very special lady “Sister Della”.
She was such a joy to be around. Her personal testimony of when the Lord healed her was just fantastic and it was filled with so much hope and encouragement. She’s the kind of person you could sit and listen to for hours. It was amazing to me that even though she is in her late season of life and has walked with the Lord since forever ago that she would know all things. Right? I was shocked when she asked “What do you think the scripture means when it says, “In your anger, sin not”? She honestly did not have the answer and was seeking revelation. I thought to myself… Really? I did not have a clue!!! I was guilty of being mad all of the time and sinning quite frequently. Hey, kids will just to that to you! We had a great laugh about it all. The only thing I could think to say was “Well, acutally I was thinking perhaps you could shine some light on a few things for me”. We just knew the Lord sent us together. He is always so faithful to come on the scene to his children when they need ministered to and encouraged to move forward.
She told me a story about how she had 3 apple trees in her front yard. She explained how beautiful they were and yet how each of them were so different in every way, shape and sizes. Some of them produced more fruit than the other ones did. And then she looked at me and said, “But my dear, they are all apple trees”! Why was she telling me this? She new that I was struggling with comparison. I was in awe of her great wisdom and discernment. In her sweet and yet simple way, she was trying explain that Christians are all different. Some us of bear more fruit than the others do but that does not make us any less than Gods Child. Do you see this? This is not a comparison of how you or I do or is my faith bigger… so on and so forth. That’s Religion not Love!!! It is all about Him and what he accomplished on the cross and what he is doing in each of us for his own glory. It reminds me so much of the scripture “It was he who gave some to be apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelist; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Ephesians 4:11-12.
Giving my life to the Lord was the best decision that I could have ever made. When we make him our friend it just becomes sweet. First thing we have to realize is who we are in him. When he applies the blood of the lamb to our lives then we are able to be used for his own glory. After you begin to grow a little you start to bear much fruit.
I pray that you will be encouraged to move forward out of those trials that enemy puts before you. He never wants to you to grow to know the truth or have that inner peace that you are Gods child. And remember even though each us are are different, we are really all the same.
May the Lord bless you.