Saturday, 28 February 2015

What Do You See?

And he said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” (Amos 8:2a ESV)

And the LORD said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I said, “Figs . . .” (Jeremiah 24:3a ESV)

He asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” (Mark 8:23b-24 ESV)

I love that the first time the Lord touched this blind man, he saw people as walking trees. This is not a coincidence as we are compared to trees many times in the Bible. And, not just any tree – but fruit bearing! God wants us to see fruit. Not just a harvest in our own lives, (an indicator that He is at work and that we are in obedience), but also that we see people as walking trees; full of productive potential!

But, so often we only see the rotting, fallen fruit that lies at the bottom of our brothers and sisters trunks. Failed marriages, abortions, wayward children . . . we don’t look up to see the growth and change – we look down and back. Oh what a shame! This is not what He has called us to see!

The Lord has been speaking this into my own life. Not just to be seeing others as He sees them – full of life-giving potential – but also to see myself as a tree, planted by the Living Stream of Water. Yes, there is some rotting junk lying amongst the base of my trunk, but the Lord redeems and uses these past hurts as fertilizer, building up my roots and giving me a stronger foundation.

Oh that we would all have eyes to see!

Father, we thank You that you use all things for Your honor and Glory. Help us to keep our eyes looking up – expecting to see fruit and growth in ourselves and others, and not looking back or down to focus on the rotting mistakes. Fill us, Holy Spirit, with Your redeeming, empowering, transforming power. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Popcorn Throwing

As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women. (Song of Solomon 2:2 ESV)

Where would the world and movie theaters be without love stories? Chick flicks dominate at our house and my sweet man has learned to embrace a good tear-jerker or two. We like to see the boy find the girl, overcome adversity and conquer whatever stood in their way. Sigh. Everything tied up nice and neat in less than two hours.

This is not a new deal . . . Shakespeare wrote love stories long ago.  One of my favorite scenes is the balcony scene where Romeo and Juliet declare their love for each other. Funny though, one of the most quoted lines I always attributed to Romeo was actually said by Juliet, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

As children from warring families, their surnames were the obstacle they had to overcome in order to be together. I love how it was Juliet who told Romeo that their names were a stupid reason to stay apart!

Ok, so that story didn’t get tied up nicely in two hours . . .

But, the best ever love story is . . . His story. The pursuit of our hearts by the One who created love and desires intimacy with us! What is the obstacle that stands in the way?

Look in the mirror.

We sabotage his love advances. If our love scenes with Him were projected in a movie theater, there would be groans and popcorn hitting the screen by frustrated viewers. We can be so obtuse! He’s waiting for us to come and sit next to Him, to hear his sweet whispers of love and we turn away and flick on the television, completely ignoring Him. On the table, His love letter remains unopened day after day as we stumble through unsatisfying relationships wondering when we’ll find love. The audience screams, ‘Open the letter! Turn off the TV!’ Viewers look around at each other, incredulous at the horrible story unfolding. What is with his heroine?!

Not seeing the Truth, we walk through life seeing ourselves as unlovable – a bramble amongst lilies.

When our Lover says we are lovely, wanted, desired.

Father, oh how we – Your daughters – walk around needlessly in lonely rejection. Forgive us for getting it wrong again and again. Let us see ourselves as You do – as a beautiful lily – and help us to get ourselves engaged in Your Love story. Thank You for Your perfect love! In Jesus’ name, Amen!