Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Absent of Perfection

My husband and I made our first trip to a Christmas Tree farm this year and it is something to experience, in a good way of course. Looking at all the trees, 25 acres worth (and I think we just about hit every one of them), trying to decide on the perfect tree. And after about an hour or so, we finally picked one and brought it home and set it up, admiring its stance, its fullness and its scent.

Then I was reminded of the tree we purchased last year. It had been our first real Christmas tree in the 28 years we’ve been married. I’ve always had a real tree growing up and he has had the opportunity to have had both, but in all our years together, we’ve always had an artificial tree.

Well, we put up the tree, enjoying the natural scent of the tree, that smell we have come to know as Christmas, and we put the lights on the tree, realizing how hard it was to balance them. Having an artificial tree for so long, I forgot about the difficulty of stringing the lights on the tree to try and create some sort of visual balance. But after a while, I guess about an hour or so, we got the lights on and went about doing other things. My husband going outside to gather leaves and me, venturing out to do some more decorating.

When we came back in, my husband took a look at the tree and said, “I have to get used to it.” He said he liked the tree but he couldn’t wait for the branches to fill out. And I agreed. But as we stood there looking at the tree, he said something like, ‘you know we expect the tree to be all perfect, but it’s not going to be the perfect shape like the artificial tree. That’s just not realistic.’

And that’s when I got the revelation… we take trees from their natural state. But a natural state, in a tree’s own habitat is not perfect in our eyes. It has some flaws. There may be a bald spot, there may be lopsidedness, a couple of branches might be missing, and the trunk might be stubby. It might be fat, it might be skinny. But that is the tree’s natural state. That is how it grew to be. And we know this, but then we put it in our houses we somehow expect the tree to look just like the artificial one, like the man-made one. Perfect in shape, size, having just the right amount of layers, branches coming in the right form as it gets to the top of the tree. But it’s man-made. It is man’s idea of how a tree should look. It is man’s idea of perfection. And man even manufactures the “pine tree” smell so that we have the smell of Christmas on an artificial tree.

And this is when God really began to speak… He said, you do the same thing, in a variety of ways. God says that we are His creation, fearfully and wonderfully made. He says we are the apple of His eye. But we throw what God says about us out the window and we look unto man, who says we are not good enough. Who says, we have to manufacture ourselves to look good. From the top of our heads to the soles of our feet, we buy into it.

We get wigs, nose jobs, body enhancements (to remove the lumps), all to try and make us look like we’re perfect in the eyes of men. According to man’s standards. But in our natural state, in the state that God has made us, we are perfect, because He created us the way we are. Yes some of us are, many of us are in fact, out of shape. We may have a bald spot, we may be a little topsy turvy, have an extra bulge here or there, and a little bit of lopsidedness, sideways and upwards, but you know what, in the eyes of God, we are perfect. Just as He said we are. FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE. And we have a God who loves us and admires us in whatever imperfect shape we feel we may be in.

So while our tree may not be perfect; it may not be the tallest, it may not be the fullest, it may not be the greenest, and it may even have the best shape, but I will admire it and enjoy it simply because it is ours, absent of its perfection; it is the tree we have chosen.

And you are the ONE that God has chosen, absent of the world’s perfection, but fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and perfect in His eyes.

Be encouraged. God is real and He loves you as imperfect as you are.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

He Put It In Writing

What do we do when we have a complaint against a company? What about when we have something to say and don’t quite know how to say it? What about when you want to express the way you feel deep within, what do you do then? Put it in writing.

Well, God put His Word in writing. He had something to say, something that was on His heart and He said it. In writing. In His Word, The Bible.

I was reading the Book of Jeremiah, chapter 36, where God gave His Word to the prophet Jeremiah to declare to the people of Judah. God was warning them about the judgment that was about to come on them, if they did not turn from their wicked ways. Much of what God is doing today through many of His servants. And God spoke the Word and told Jeremiah to write it down in a scroll and to take it before the people. Now the Bible says, Jeremiah was forbidden to go into the Lord’s house to declare the Word because people didn’t like him and more than likely they would either lock him up or kill him. So Jeremiah used wisdom and gave the scroll to Baruch, a messenger, to read before the people.

Baruch read it to the people and the king’s “people” heard of it and thought it should be read to the king. And the scroll was read before the king, King Jehoakim (who did evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father, Josiah). And every time he heard a page of the scroll he did not like, he burned it. Every page he did not like he burned it. THREE separate occasions he did this. Burned pages of the scroll.

And God said, this is the same thing we do. Every time we choose to ignore the Word of God, the Word He took the time to write and to declare, we are burning the page. Every time we choose to do what we want to do instead of what we know to do is right, we burn the page. Every time we put our will above God’s will. We burn the page.

Every time God sends His prophet, His messenger, to declare a Word to us and we refuse to take heed or let it change our lives, we are burning the pages of the scroll.

God put His Word in writing. We are without excuse. And every time we downplay its value, its meaning; every time we forget about it, disagree with it, we are burning it.

God says that He loved us so much that He gave His Son and He took the time to tell us. To share with us His heart. By putting it in writing. And every time we ignore His Word, we are like King Jehoiakim burning the pages that we don’t like. And not only that, burning a hole in the heart of God.

God is real. And so is His Word.

Be blessed and be obedient.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E