Yes, that's right. Trees.
A few weeks ago, here in Northern Indiana, we had a warm couple of days. My trees loved it. They filled with buds and their carpet of grass turned a deep emerald shade of green.
And then, as Indiana usually does in April, it got cold. And it even snowed. Evil. But ya know, the funny thing about those trees, they are still producing more buds. In fact, even with the cold, I have one tree that looks like it's about to bust with new leaves.
Over the last day or so I've been challenged with the fact that I've gotten lost in the doing of ministry and set aside the why. Do I want to reach out to people because I desire their wholeness in Christ or just because I want to help them? Just because want to share my story? My answers to those questions have laid me open a little bit.
I know. You're thinking... what exactly does that have to do with trees? Well, I'll tell you.
A tree is a tree. It does what God designed it to do by taking water through it's roots, using sunlight to nourish itself, and produce it's vegetation in due time. And by silently doing the things it's intended to do, it gives us humans oxygen, shade, shelter, and food. It provides home for thousands of other living
crawl-y climb-y things. In my yard, one tree happens to be the home to a gigantic ant colony. And just by doing and being what God created it to, it can be used in a thousand different ways.
The same is true for me and you. When we plant our roots deep into scripture and use the Holy Spirit to nurture us, when we stand tall and strong, and live out our purpose- becoming more like Jesus, God can use us for a multitude of other things. A tree can't bypass it's original intention to become a 2x4. It has to be a tree first. Just as we can't bypass knowing God, knowing his character, love, and grace.
Here's the thing- all that tree knows is that it's supposed to suck in that water, soak up the sun, and grow some stuff. It doesn't know that it's got to have some birds nests, or house ant colonies, or turn into my kitchen table. It just does what it knows to do.
And that's what we need to do. We need to know Jesus. We need to become more like him, to imitate him more and more with every thought, word, and action. If we do these things, God will use us to fulfill his purposes in ways we never even imagined.
Are you trying to be someone or something you're not intended to be? Are you doing what you need to do- learning to be more like Jesus every day? I know I haven't been. I've been trying to be a 2x4 and not a tree. Let today be the day that we go back to our intended purpose. Let's open our Bibles and read with the intention of knowing God. Let's pray with the intention of being in relationship with Him. And that's it.