It’s Fall is here in North Texas. I’ve been around long enough to know that before too long there will be a freeze setting in and we might even get a little snow. So, I got up early this morning and set out to accumulate some firewood.
There is a large, old American Elm tree at the front of the property that had a rather sizeable limb fall from about mid-tree and got hung in a web of the lower limbs. I pulled the limb down by wrapping a chain around it and as it thundered to the ground beneath the tree’s canopy, I could hear the crushing of the one end that struck the ground……..it was hollow, shredded like paper due to being rotten.
I jostled the remaining side of the large branch down to the ground and took my chainsaw to it and started cutting. As I cut the log into workable portions that I could split for firewood, I started at the larger end of the branch that had connected it to the tree’s trunk, which was the rotten end. I quickly removed the rotten wood and moved down the line to begin cutting the remainder of the log that would be useable for firewood.
Then, it became splitting time! I like this type of work. A large splitting maul in my hand, swinging it with a strong stroke and attempting to cut whole logs into halves with one swing. I was immediately transported back to my earlier years growing up in East Texas when I wasn’t so pleased to be charged with firewood duty.
Squarely standing with the axe in my hand, splitting wood in the mid-40s degree weather, sun shining and a gentle breeze blowing…….Father began to speak to me.
The initial wound that this large tree branch suffered is what caused it to become separated from its life source and eventually decay and fall. I could see it located in the very place where this branch connected to the trunk.
As I split the wood closest to where the injury originally happened, who knows how long ago, I could see where bugs and insects had entered the
strong, stringy wood of the stately Elm. There were long tracks and paths where you could see how the miniscule little vermin were able to eat their way through the wood and only leave their refuse. There were no bugs in sight but the damage had been done and was eventually terminal.
So, there I am………… a big man swinging a large, heavy splitting maul…..weeping!
His Body is detached! Separated and divided. Injured and harmed.
It’s not so much the anti-Christ spirit that is rampant in the age doing the harm through godless individuals as it is those who are called “Christians” who are carnal and choose to split hairs over inconsequential things.
We speak of Love. Preach about Love. Write books on the topic of Love. Repeatedly sing songs about Love. But, until we realize that LOVE is HIS NATURE that has been seeded into us and STOP the FOOLISHNESS of permitting SEPARATION over apparent offenses, he-said or she-said minutiae or even every day life misunderstandings, then we shouldn’t broach the topic of Love.
Love is………Patient. Kind.
Love Does NOT……….Envy. Boast. It is not Proud.
It does NOT DISHONOR others,
It is not self-seeking.
It is not easily angered.
LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
Much like that tree branch, we’ve ALL been injured and/or harmed by fellow, proclaiming believers. I know that the most hurtful experiences in my life have been propagated by believers. I can tell you that as a believer and even “leader”, I have harmed others.
But, simply because we have been harmed/injured, doesn’t mean that we have to permit the vermin of un-forgiveness and resentment to continually eat away at us and do further injury that will eventually lead to our falling away and demise.
We work so hard at putting forth appearances. We want everyone to believe that everything is okay and everything is just as it should be. Yet, if we were to peel back the bark, we’d see for ourselves the refuse that un-forgiveness and resentment has left beneath the veneer.
I am a testimony to the power of forgiveness, both in the giving and receiving ends. Forgiveness has the power to produce a freedom and a release that empowers you to Love Him and His People and further pursue Him and Purpose.
Whether it be your marriage relationship, dear friends who you once loved dearly and held near, other family members or other spiritual brothers/sisters, DON’T further tolerate un-forgiveness and, therefore, further decay of your spiritual, mental and physical well-being. Rather, choose to Love.
Father is grieved for you because of the disconnections and brokenness in previously meaningful and purposeful relationships. Those relationships that you were once tied into, connected to and made you strong in Him, He desires to restore them for you.
His heaviness of heart for those injured/damaged relationships was the reason for my tears as I split firewood this morning. He desires you to be healed, to be made whole and able to willingly give and receive Love.
Our life in this earth is short. His Life is Eternal. I would encourage you to not forsake the Quality contained in His Life/Love in order to retain your right to be offended, correct in an argument or isolated from what you think might harm you.
Keep your peace!