James 1:2-4

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journeyand cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. James 1:2-4D

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Profound Truth From A Tree!!

I recently returned from a silent retreat.  What's a silent retreat you might ask.  Well it's literally a weekend retreat where you don't talk.  It's intended to help you connect with God, to just being still and listening.  I've been doing this pretty much annually for over 25 years now.  It's a wonderful experience for me and I look forward to it every year.

On Saturday I went for a walk and I intentionally slowed my pace and walked in a very mindful way.  First thing I noticed was how fast I normally walk and man was I missing a lot.  I slowed down and began to really take in my surroundings.  The retreat center is situated on the beautiful Raven River near Caroline, AB, it's really breath taking everywhere you walk. 

Before long I noticed a line of small evergreen trees.  A much smaller one than the rest caught my eye right away, it was a not so green evergreen anymore.  I had walked by it before several times since arriving but this time I had slowed my pace and I saw it there in all it's glory.  It was a very light green shade, short and stubby in stature.  I reached out and touched it--OUCH!!  It's branches were extremely hard and crumpled easily in my hands.  A tear rolled down my face, as I held its branch and said out loud to this poor tree, " Oh my what happened to you, you poor tree?"

I took a step back and noticed there were pinkish-purple hues splattered all over the trees branches.  I wondered if this poor tree was sick, what had happened to cause this tree to have such a colorful problem.  Was it, the winter, bugs, disease?  I stood and stared at it a long while and then I realized how beautiful this tree actually was.  It wasn't like all the other trees in that row of trees, it was unique almost as if God had painted it this color, even the pink marks on it's branches.  I said to the tree, "You are a very beautiful tree!"  

Then deep in my Spirit God spoke to me, "Laura you are like this tree to me.  You are no longer exactly the same as when I created you, and like this tree you have scars too.  Your choices and choices others have made, created these scars--this is what makes this tree, this tree and makes you, you.  Don't you see how beautiful you are, scars and all? You are my beautiful, precious, beloved one, and so very much loved by me."

I stood a while longer, with tears now streaming down my face.  I realized in that moment that no matter where we've been or what we've been through God loves us the same as yesterday and the same tomorrow.  We are so precious in His sight and we must learn to love ourselves this way.  In fact why do we allow ourselves to think any less?  We certainly wouldn't tolerate anyone else treating us so poorly, or would we?  

Today, may you see the beauty of the person you are and have become--and know that you are a masterpiece in the making, always have been and always will be.  Just like the beautiful little tree I meet on my journey this weekend.

Psalm 139:14 (ERV) I praise you because you made me in such a wonderful way.  I know how amazing that was!

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