God’s Provision

‘The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork’ (Psalm 19:1).

I like passion fruit juice and I had successfully cultivated passion fruit vines in the past.  Because it had taken me about one and a half years for my passion fruit vine to produce fruit, when I had finally picked my first passion fruit, I was so very excited.  So I was really sorry  when that passion fruit vine got pulled up. 

Since then, I tried several times to plant passion fruit vines, but I was not successful.  In some instances the worms ate the leaves before the young vines were able to become established, while in one instance the young passion fruit vine got mowed down when the grass was being cut.

Within my heart, I wanted to grow a passion fruit vine again.  Then one day as I was walking along the fence at my home, I noticed a vine that looked so much like a passion fruit vine; but I thought that was strange, since I did not plant a vine there.  On closer inspection, I realized that it really was a passion fruit vine, but I had no idea how long it was growing there.  The vine was growing from under the hedge along my fence. 

For months the vine continued to grow between the hedge, but I really did not give the vine much attention and I did not think that the vine would thrive. 

Then one day, as I was walking along the fence, I noticed something that looked like a blossom, then I saw another blossom and another blossom.  I was excited and some time later I picked the first passion fruit from the vine and then I picked another ripe passion fruit.

As I thought about my passion fruit vine, I thought of God’s goodness.  I had no part in planting the passion fruit seed, but about a year and half before unknown to me, God was answering a desire of my heart.  Now the passion fruit vine and its bountiful crop are a reminder to me of the goodness of God. 

Nature has been a source through which God speaks to me and the passion fruit experience is no different.  

What a wonderful assurance that ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever’ (Psalm 23:6).  Indeed God’s goodness keeps running after us, as expressed in the song ‘Goodness of God’.

 I am so thankful that we serve such an awesome God.

Be Blessed

When it is Time to Climb

(To listen to the podcast for this blog post click here)

I had been picking the leaves from my moringa tree for a while.  When I stood beneath the tree, I was enjoying the ease of picking the leaves from the branches within my reach.  However, over time, I needed to tiptoe and stretch to pick the leaves.

When I looked up into the tree, I observed that there were many leaves outside of my reach while I stood beneath the tree.  So to reach the leaves on the higher branches, I would need to safely climb the tree. 

Then I thought, isn’t this similar to what can happen in our lives?  We can reach for the ‘low hanging fruit’ which of course is good, since we really don’t want any of the fruit to go to waste.  But because these ‘low hanging fruit’ are in abundance for so long, we may actually forget that there are other ‘fruit’ a little higher in the tree.  But to get to the other ‘fruit’ we would need to stretch ourselves, then we would need to climb beyond our initial comfort level.

As I thought about my moringa tree, the questions came to mind:

  • In what areas of my life is God calling me to go higher, to press on and to experience the growth that can only occur with me climbing and taking on new challenges?
  • What fears do I need to let go of to embark on the journey of growth?

The reassuring thing for me was that the leaves in the moringa tree were within my vision, within my view.  The only thing that separated me from getting to the leaves was climbing the tree.  Similarly with some effort, we will experience blessings from the growth opportunities right in our sight.

Let’s ask God to show us the ‘moringa leaves’ He wants us to go after today, for His honor and glory.  Let’s ask God in what areas He wants us to press on, like we are reminded of in the hymn ‘Higher Ground’.

So once again, my question to you is, what ‘moringa tree’ in your life do you need to climb today?  Remember with the vision in view, God provides the tools and strength for us to go higher.

Embracing Growth

For us to move forward, we need to go through a change process and we need to grow.  At times, being prepared for any situation (including changes) starts with our frame of mind and the attitude that we adopt. Thankfully God who knows everything gives us insights into how He desires to transform our thinking to bring our thoughts in line with His thoughts, and He provides all we need to achieve the changes.

God’s Word is a precious source to help us spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, mentally, socially and physically.  In the same way a gardener understands that plants need water to thrive, we seek care and nourishment for these different facets of our being.

When there is limited rain fall, some vegetation are able to maintain a green look and also continue to grow.  The answer at times is in the root system.  If some plants get accustomed to receiving water from the surface of the ground, the roots will not be encouraged to go deeper; so if the surface water supply goes, the plant will struggle to survive.

Could it be that this can be applied to our spiritual life?  Could it be that keeping the Lord’s Word in our hearts can be liken to letting our spiritual roots go deep; so deep that in times of stress and uncertainty the spiritual reservoir would have been established deep in our minds?

As we keep God’s Word in our minds each day, in an attitude of prayer, our connection to God and our spiritual root systems will develop.

We are to seek God – the source of our strength.  Though the connection is invisible to the human eye, the connection is discerned by our spiritual eyes; spiritual eyes that are developed as we partner with God.  Let us determine to submit to God, and do the part that He has asked us to do as He continues to develop us and reconcile us to Him.

To your continued growth.

Loving Guidance

‘I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth’ (Genesis 9:13 KJV)

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In the Bible we read of Noah, who sought God’s acceptance.  On the other hand, sadly there are times when a person’s desire for acceptance can replace their desire to do the right thing.  When a child does wrong, a parent must decide how to address the child’s wrong doing.

 If the parent leaves a child, the child may be happy for a while, but that same child could become bitter when they grow up and realize that they have cultivated unchecked bad habits.

If the parent has learnt to correct in love, the child grows understanding the rightful blend of love and justice. But unfortunately, sometimes even with the most balanced parental approach a child may still seek to go his or her own way.

Thankfully God in His love shows us His way and in that process, He also reveals to us the things in us that need to change.

After the flood when Noah left the ark, God sent the rainbow as a reminder of God’s providence. Though we see the effects of sin in nature, we can look up and be reassured that God has not left us.  Like Noah, let us be determined to listen to God’s instructions, seek God’s acceptance and obey His commands.

 

The Vines

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The gardener planted spinach vines and passion fruit vines along the same fence in the garden. The passion fruit vines grew faster than the spinach vines and eventually the passion fruit vines encroached on the part of the fence where the spinach vines were planted.

The spinach and passion fruit leaves soon became intertwined, and it appeared that only the passion fruit vines would thrive. However to ensure both vines thrive, the gardener redirected the passion fruit vines from the spinach vines.

There was also a third vine growing in between the passion fruit and the spinach vines.  It was a strange vine that was not planted by the gardener, so the gardener tried to remove the third vine without damaging the passion fruit or the spinach vines.

From this situation we can learn that as we occupy the garden of life, God wants the good plants to co-exist.  Like the spinach and passion fruit vines, God helps us to know how to organize among ourselves so that the different aspects of His work that He has requested each of us to do can be accomplished.

We also need to let God remove any divisiveness from among us. Only God can give us the discernment to navigate in tangled situations.

God has given each of us a task to do. Let us work together and learn to complement each other as we help each other to grow into the kind of persons that God wants us to be.