Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Have you ever seen an Australian Red Cedar tree? They are altogether magnificent. It is difficult to gaze upon a red cedar and not be utterly amazed by its beauty and grandeur. These trees are tall and strong. Their branches reach out far and wide so that their leafy foliage casts a thick blanketing shadow on the earth below. The wood of these trees is beautiful and highly sought after by master craftsmen. As with most cedars, this one has a rich fragrance that seeps in and delivers a sense of warmth to you very soul. If I were a bird, I would nest in a Red Cedar. Well, in the spring time I would...

The cedar tree is deciduous. During the winter its leaves fall away and it is left bare and exposed to the elements. In essence, its beauty falls away, and for the long months of winter the Red Cedar is more haunting than beautiful. The seasons can be harsh. But the cedar tree knows how to survive.

To become so magnificent  the cedar tree needs to be well grounded. For this to happen, the cedar tree must drive its roots deep into the soil. The purpose here is two-fold. Firstly, a good and healthy root system enables the cedar to stand in all its glory through all seasons. These trees are big. To simply stand under the weight of their splendor means that their roots must be deeply grounded in solid soil. Secondly, it is from the soil that these trees find their nourishment, especially when the seasons are harsh.

We are not so very different from the Red Cedar. If we are to become something magnificent and be able to stand firm through all of the seasons of life, we need to consider where we lay our roots...

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God... (Ephesians 3:14-19)

The season I find myself in is harsh. The winter has been long and bleak. But I am thankful to know that I am rooted and grounded in love. The winter will not last forever, and even he spring will bring new challenges with it. But I know the one who holds me and nourishes me. His love is real, and the hope He offers is secure. Healing seldom comes in the form explaination. The hurt is never numbed in anyway by answers. But the strength to stand in the midst of suffering comes from love. This is the key to freedom, being rooted and grounded in love.

No matter what season you are in, tend to your roots. If you don't know how, ask the Father who is in heaven to show you. He answers prayer and He promises that whoever searches for Him in earnest, will find Him. Read you Bible, from there you will find nourishment for your soul. If you don't know where to start, read one of the gospels to find out who Jesus is - my personal favourite is John. Jesus Christ is the best friend you will ever know.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Image from Google.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Let the children come...

This is an excerpt from my personal Journal from October 30, 2012 (Tuesday)...
"It is something altogether different to say His grace is sufficient for today when tomorrow holds no hope of any significance." - Joseph Lehmann.
"Jesus, show me what blessing looks like! Help me to understand the blessings you lavish on me. You say You do, but I don't see it. Give me eyes to see."
What followed this journal entry was two pages of despairing questions and concerns from a hurting and desperate woman. It was 1am. Another sleepless night with thoughts racing. Suddenly I had that disturbing feeling of another presence in the room. I dropped my pen and turned. It was Jordan. My precious 6 year old. He could not sleep either because he was thinking of his brother, and he felt sad. We talked about Hudson for a while and then I asked him,
"Since neither of us can sleep, lets do something together. What would you like to do?"
"I want to do a Bible study with you Mum."
Not what I was expecting, but I happily obliged. This is what we read...
"And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them."
Mark 10:13-16

We then talked about how children often understand God better than adults. Kids don't complicate things by over thinking them. They simply take God at His Word. We talked about Jonah and the whale (this is Jordan's favourite story at the moment). How different would that story have turned out if Jonah had simply taken God at His Word and obeyed with child-like faith? We prayed together and I crawled into bed with a heart full of praise, thankful for the fellowship I shared with my precious boy. He had encouraged my heart in a way that no other person had done in a very long time. He opened the Word with me and sought out truth with me. He makes me happy. What a blessing to my soul!!!
It was now Thursday afternoon. The swimming lesson had finished. Her brother was at Karate so it was just the two of us today. She was so delighted when I gave her the 50 cents to buy a bag of lollies from the kiosk. The big blue towel wrapped itself around my leg and squeezed in tight. I love the way her ringlets bounce as she skips ahead. My leg is wet... I smile from the inside-out. As she hurries away to collect her treat I whisper under my breath, "Thank you for her, she makes me happy!"
As we walk to the car, a midst the squelching of wet pluggers, a profound question calls out from under the big blue towel...
"Mum, what does it mean to despair?"
"Well, it means someone is feeling very hurt and sad about something and they can't imagine ever feeling better. They feel hopeless."
"What is hope, Mum?"
"Hope is knowing that we will be OK, even when it feels like we wont."
"We have hope don't we Mum. We don't need to despair because we know Jesus, don't we!"
Wow!!  Her words ring out across the car park and echo into the deepest parts of my heart. My eyes fill immediately... my 4 year old sage is ministering to me. Those were exactly the words I had needed to hear all week. Spoken from truly wise, child-like faith.
 "Ellie girl, you are so precious!! Thank you for helping Mummy remember truth."
She giggles... "This lolly tastes like toothpaste."

I think my eyes are opening. I am beginning to see. We have a God who answers prayer! There is blessing all around. There are still tough times ahead, but I know that we are going to be OK. As I press on to bring my brokenness to the Redeemer, to grow in Him, my prayer is now this...
Father, when I grow up, help me to be just like my kids.