Monday, November 18, 2013

Oak Trees

I suffer from "hurrying sickness."  I always feel like I need to be going, doing, going, doing.  Over and over again.  My to do list never ends.  I mark one thing off and add two more.  I am constantly moving or doing something.  I feel unproductive if I'm not.  But, that's not what God wants for us.

Listen to the story of Mary and Martha.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman 
named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the 
Lord's feet listening to what he said.  But Martha, was distracted by all the preparations 
that had to be made.  She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has 
left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but 
few things are needed - or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not 
be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-42 NIV

Jesus told Martha that what she was doing wasn't important, it wasn't necessary.  That what she needed to do was let go of it and sit down and enjoy the time with Him.  When is the last time you were able to made time to sit down and enjoy His company.  To really spend time with Him.  

Can you do that today?  Can you put everything in your mind aside and spend time with Him?  

Sometimes God calls us to be doing more and sometimes it's less.  Last week I talked about feeling stuck and how there is freedom in letting go and embracing where God has called you to be.  

Since I am always going and doing I think that should be the way my spiritual growth should be.  I do something and it should stick right away, right?  Wrong.  It takes time to solidify our spiritual growth.  We have to put in the time with Him and work.  Then we have to give it time to stick.

Friends, what if the "stuck" times are the times we are solidifying our growth.  When God wants to make a squash He takes six months.  When God wants to make an oak tree He takes one hundred years.  He takes time to make squash and oak trees.  He takes time when it comes to our spiritual growth too.  

In the Book The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith he states the following.

"Some years we may experience tremendous growth, and some we see very little 
change.  An oak tree has only a couple of months of actual growth each year in terms of 
measurable expansion, says Strong.  The rest of the year, the other ten months, are spend 
solidifying that growth."

So embrace your slower times.  Let them be the times that solidify all of the work He has done in you. 

I'll end with a prayer from The Good and Beautiful God.

Patient and loving God, when you want to make a squash you take six months, when you want to make an oak tree you take one hundred years. You created us, O Lord, to be eternal spiritual beings, more immense than we could ever imagine. Stretch out our arms to embrace the rhythm and pace that you have created the universe to operate at. Through our reading and discussion today and through the on-going practices of our faith may we be healed of hurry sickness. Amen.


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