So, I bought an olive tree. I wanted one to replace the white birch in the front yard that decided to drop her leaves and just stop living one day. I miss the dappled light through the waving branches and loved the way it cast its shadows across the front of the house.
I was so excited to find my little tree, all young and small and for a great price. Sadly, dear husband was less than thrilled.
“They make a huge mess,” he said, shaking his head. “Aaww, those are horrible. Messiest trees ever, etc…..”
I’d heard that olive trees were messy and I had that in the back of my mind, but I wasn’t thinking about that when I saw it at the nursery the other day. I was focusing more on the blessing and the beauty and how adding an olive tree to the front yard would help me toward achieving that Mediterranean farmhouse look I love so much (even though our house is more of a Colonial). When there’s a blessing in the mix, the potential mess gets a little smaller.
But sometimes the mess, the really big, ugly troubles we face in this life rise up and cast their ominous shadows right across the blessing. We could ask God to fix it all, to clean up all the debris left scattered at our feet; the pain, the anger, the frustration, the grief…
…or, we could focus on keeping God at the center of our
response to it.
How we respond in the battle of painful situations, the approach we take in dealing with the one who came to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10) reflects just how much or how little of ourselves we’ve surrendered to God.
As followers of Christ, we’re either “putting on the full armor of God,” (Eph. 6:10) or fighting a futile battle of our own strength.
Either way, we’re representing Jesus.
To represent Him well takes faith, trust and a strong, close relationship with Him.
It takes surrender.
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged…” (2 Chron. 20:17)
Only God can reveal the biggest blessings hidden behind
the biggest messes.
(Even ones made from an olive tree).
"No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me," declares the Lord." (Is. 54:17)