In Which I Find Another Olive Tree

Reader, I’m going to warn you, “This is likely to be a Jekyll/Hyde post.”  There you have been warned.  Here’s why – I’m still in the middle of this.  There is no platitude right now or wisdom gained by looking back on a situation.  There is just the messiness of life.But, isn’t that what Christianity is?  The working out of our faith in real life…with all its messes and frustrations.

The problem is that I don’t want the messiness and frustrations.  I don’t want the grittiness of life.  Instead, I want a beautiful, picture-perfect life that really doesn’t exist outside of those cute memes you see on Facebook.  I want a life where I don’t question aspects of my faith, where life never rubs me the wrong way and I get everything my  little heart desires.  In short, I want a life where I don’t ever have to grow…where I will ultimately stagnate and die.

I think God’s working on that again.  You see, and this is the Jekyll/Hyde part, we’re moving…and I don’t want to move.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m excited about Nathan’s new job.  I’m so happy for him because he is getting to  do something that he has dreamed of all of his life.  But, I don’t like the rest of it.  I don’t like what I know about the new location…well,  to be honest, I don’t like the one we’re at now either.  (Ok, I just don’t like Alaska.)  I told Nathan that and I was enjoying the pity-party.  I was enjoying being miserable and ruminating on my ruined life.  I kindof enjoyed finding things to hate and dreaming of the day when we would leave this state and my life would begin again.

And then…God happened.  (That seems to be His pattern.)  And he reminded me of two things.  1.  He reminded me of the heartbeat that I used to have for missions.  He reminded me of the look on a man’s face when my father had to tell him that there was no church in his city.  He reminded me of the sadness that I felt when we would drive through villages without a church.  Then I started arguing, “God, we’re not missionaries.  We won’t be missionaries unless some things seriously change, so this isn’t even valid.”  And God gently reminded that he does things in ways I can’t understand.  Maybe, just maybe, He heard the dying cry of my little missionary heart.  Maybe this is where He is planning on using it right now.

Oh, that second thing that God reminded me of?  It’s a poem that I read in high school in King’s Crossroads. (Michael Phillips) It goes like this:

To learn of me, seek the olive tree,

Though near its trunk, blook stains the ground.

The disciple’s path leads through Gethsemane,

And the thorns I wore gave me my crown.

The way is steep up that lonely hill.

‘Tis hard to yield what you want to do.

But, if you would find my Father’s will,

Ask what He would have of you.

 

So, pray for me, friends.  I’ve found another olive tree.


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