Thursday, March 6, 2014

He is like a tree

"...but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers." - Psalm 1:2-3

I struggle sometimes.

I like being in control, and knowing what's ahead of me. I like to have a plan for what comes next. And a plan for after that. And a plan for after that.

Funny, then, that God doesn't always see fit to indulge me.

With the help of three amazing friends (whom I've dubbed my "Wonder Women"), and the guidance of a phenomenal booked called Restless, by Jennie Allen (check it out here), I've slowly been discovering my gifts and abilities, and how God plans to use them through me.

The emphasis there, though, is slowly. See, I was telling them just last night, I have this less than stellar habit of taking an idea and running with it, before it's really ready to be run with. More often than not, it does more harm than good.

God, with his perfect timing, is giving me bits and pieces of his plan for me. Last night, I used the analogy of E.T. following the Reese's Pieces trail. God is luring me out of my plans with snippets of his plans for me, but he knows better than to give me enough to take off with.

Some people have always known what God's plan for their life is. For others, God reveals his plan suddenly, and in completion.

I'm not going to fall into either of those categories. My discovery of his plan for me is a more lengthy process. And that's fine. That's what he wants for me, and that's what I need, and I get that.

But some days, like today, I struggle with that. Because, since I don't have the whole picture, I don't know what's coming next. I don't know what my purpose is, yet. And some days, the bits and pieces I do have get lost in the tangled mess that is my mind, and I forget.

I get discouraged.

Tonight, I was working on a passage of scripture I'm trying to memorize, and something about it struck me.

"He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its seasons, and its leaf does not wither."

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its seasons.

I don't know a lot about plants, but I do live in Oregon, so I know all about buying seasonally. A lot of the plants we eat are designed to have seasons of production, and seasons where they do not produce.

Tonight, it occurred to me that we are likely the same.

We are going to have seasons of yielding fruit. We are also going to have seasons of not yielding fruit.

I'm just beginning to understand God's plan for me.

When you first plant a tree, you don't get fruit the next day. You care for it. You nurture it. You give it what it needs to grow.

You wait.

Sometimes years, you wait.

And then, eventually, you get fruit.

If you planted a peach tree and you just have to have a peach right this moment and your tree is not ready to bear fruit and it's the dead of winter, you can go to the store and buy a peach, right?

If I'm waiting for God to reveal his plan to me, waiting for my tree to bear fruit, in the meantime, I am completely capable of taking it upon myself to make some things happen. I have that ability. I can strive after what I think is supposed to come next.

And it will probably be fine. But it will probably also cost me. Exhaust me. Maybe even taste a little sour.

Peaches aren't cheap in the middle of winter in Oregon. And they're fine. They're alright.

But let me tell you something. There's a farm near my home that sells peaches in the summer. And those peaches, ripe and fresh off of those trees that are in their season are nothing short of heavenly.

God is growing us. He's caring for us, and nurturing us, and giving us what we need to grow. And we have to trust that when we're ready, when it's our season, we will bear the fruit he has planned.

And when that time comes, may we be peaches straight off the tree in August. Ripe, ready, and bursting with the flavor of God.

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