Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cypress for Thorns

I don't know about your life, but mine can melt into an absolute wreck in approximately 30 seconds.

With 3 preschoolers, a teenager, a tweenager and a middler...many with very special needs...not to mention a daughter on the other side of the planet looking longingly at our pictures...

well, life can get a WEE TINY BIT demanding.

And well, I don't always handle the concurrent demands/meltdowns well.


Isaiah 55 calls it "thorny."

Folks, I'm a serial ME LOVER.

I'm all about my comfort, my happiness, my desires, my wants.

It's not pretty.

And astonishingly, it's not what I'm called to.

I have a HIGH CALLING and it's worth everything.

God is doing a work in me, so my faithful husband encourages me.

I'm pretty sure the curriculum for me to learn this requires people in my life who are BIGGER "Me Lovers" than I am. Or...really, just less refined at hiding their "me lovingness."

(Cuz I think I still win the award for biggest Me Lover at this address.)

The endless stream of needs, demands and disasters from aforementioned people is working out a beauty in my life that I could never achieve otherwise.

(And I never would, ya know? Me-lover here would choose the EASY route, the COMFORTABLE, the FUN way every time.)

But I'm coming to terms with the reality that: this is my life for the current time and future times as far as I can see.

And Jesus called me to die to ME. 

And oddly, I want to. 


Weird? Perhaps.

But I long to have Christ express Himself so beautifully in me...and it just can't happen until I "John 3:30" a whole lot more.

Wait, isn't "John 3:30" a recognized verb?

It should be.

"I must decrease, He must increase."

Yeah, that.

I need to move OUTTA THE WAY so Jesus can live His life through me.

Is this sounding a bit...odd?

Well, it's biblical people.

That familiar verse memorized decades ago comes back to life with NEW MEANING:
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

So daily now I'm asking to "John 3:30" and anxiously awaiting Christ to take over and run this show.

I was parked in Isaiah 55 for the past several mornings and this morning I really was breathing in the hope that I can live with JOY and PEACE mentioned in verse 12.

12 You will live in joy and peace.
    The mountains and hills will burst into song,
    and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
    Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name;
    they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

And then I got to thinking how much I want cypress trees in place of thorns and myrtles instead of nettles in verse 13.


What a nice descriptor of my attitude when three toddlers are screaming and pots of food are boiling over, the phone is ringing and I was trying to remember what I was saying to that dear woman I'm coaching in my Beachbody business.

Yeah, nettles. 

I am praying now that God will help me turn over my thorns and nettles to Him in the meltdown moments so He can grow cypress trees and myrtle in its place.

I decided to take a peek at some images of cypress trees this morning. 

Love what I found.

The way it stands so beautifully against the sea. Against the sky.

The way it grows out of the rock. That's not an easy place to grow, I wouldn't think.

And look at this cypress! That's a beautiful thing growing out of that odd place! (oh I'm getting excited now!)

I did some reading also about the symbolism of the cypress. Did you know the cypress tree was an often used symbol of Christianity? When it's cut down, it doesn't grow back from its roots. Because of that, it's often used as a symbol of resurrection. One source said it has the association of heaven's calling.

Oh baby, I need heaven to call. LOUDLY.

Back to Isaiah 55:13... I love the swap of myrtle in place of those nasty nettles! 

I can't say I'm familiar with the myrtle bush, and although my web search distracted me with a 4 legged woman named Myrtle from the 1800's, I did discover it is a beautiful and fragrant flowering bush that is actually the original name of Esther.

My Esty.

Hmmmm. I may have to plant a myrtle for her!

I will continue to forge my way through each day looking forward to cypress and myrtle to sprout up at any moment.

And for every time the thorns and nettles overpower, I'll ask for forgiveness and start again. 

Cuz that's what we can to do. Praise God!!

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1 comment:

  1. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME post!!!!!! Love you dear Amy! Are you sure we aren't twins who were separated at birth??? LOL!


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