beautiful, the mess we are
ok, so have you heard it? the song that i stole the title of this post to? it is called “better than a hallelujah” by the ever amazing amy grant. she has flat out been around forever. like really, since the 90’s. 🙂 please look up the song. listen to it. have the lyrics in front of you. it is so real, so true. my dear friend told me months ago…”i heard this song and thought of you” she knows how many times i have poured out my miseries to God in the past few months. she knows He has heard my cries and heard a melody. the genuine cry of His kid, must be so sweet to Him. not because He wants me to cry….but because He wants me to cry out TO HIM.
ugh. i feel like the most stupid person when i type like i have all this to be miserable about. there are, right now, people who literally have no food, no clothing, no roof over their head. mothers who have buried their children. children who have never known their mothers. so many with illnesses so far worse than mine. God forbid, others whose children have illnesses far worse than mine. and i cry out in misery? ugh. perspective people, perspective.
but i would be lying to you, to myself and therefore to God if i told you i didn’t have a little pity party every so often. and, so often i feel like my trees. (huh? your trees? i know, it sounds silly) and i am aware that i write about them a lot, but my backyard has truly become a haven to me these last few months. i meet God there every morning. it is a special place.
but before i tell you how i am like my trees, i feel compelled to make a slight correction to an earlier post. 🙂 now, let me make mention that i am not much of a detail person. my sweet husband is. (again, there are few ways we could be more different…but, hey, it works) it goes against my nature to pay a great deal of attention to lots of pesky details…especially if they get in the way of a good story. 🙂 i recently posted that our backyard has 90 oak trees. i would like to correct myself that we really have more like 100 trees, and they are not all oak. yes, while the majority of them are post oak, some are black oak (sometimes known as blackjack oak) and we also have some mulberry trees along the back fence. whew, i don’t know about you, but i feel much better!
what really matters for this analogy is the size of the trees. and for this…i did actually recruit my sweet hubby to help me out. this is because i am h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e at judging size and distance. no, really…this is NOT false modesty. if i tell you i live 5 miles from somewhere, it very well might be 1 mile, or 22 miles. if i see a bear running at us from 10 feet away, it could actually be 30 feet away or 100 feet away…there’s no telling. (but it would be best to just run, in that case!) i’m a poor judge with both over and under estimating…making me an equal-opportunity fowl up. so, today, i asked Ryan…”baby, how tall are our trees?” see, this is me, the one who doesn’t really care that much about details asking a methodical, detail-oriented man, to which he replied, “well, the post oaks can generally reach heights anywhere from…40 feet to….” (i went ahead and interrupted him here because i could just tell this was going to turn into a looooong explanation about the history of post oak trees)…”no, baby, how tall do you think these trees in our backyard are, you know i can’t guess height, i’m always wrong, are they like 10 feet, or maybe 20 feet?” i was sooo thinking i was close. to which he replied “no babe, most of them are at least 50 feet” darn. i had wanted to be a little closer than that.
i appreciate you letting me detour a bit in my story-telling to lead you to this. lately, as i sit there in the morning, after i put my glasses back on and can see clearly again (see blog post title “blindness”) i breathe deeply and watch what God does with my trees. how they move in the wind. and whoa, how i feel like them sometimes. if you look at their trunks, i must say it is fairly impressive. each one, about as big around as a telephone pole, so…..fairly substantial…thick, even…..of substance….not easily moved….secure….unaffected by the wind….rooted….established….i glance around and they are all unmoved…still…..in fact…if you look at just the trunks for long enough, it is easy to forget that it’s even a windy day. but then i look up. way up. 50 feet up. and i must say….i am amazed. those branches are swaying back and forth like die-hard Eagles fans at a live reunion concert…..back and forth….back and forth……three and four feet in each direction(let’s be honest, it could be 10 feet in each direction)….. leaves whistling all around….branches whipping all over…..completely being controlled by the will of the wind. it is deceiving really. could these be the same trees??? i look down and see the same solid, immoveable trunks. i look up and see the wind having its way with the tips of these same trees.
that is when it hit me. i sooooo am those trees. for all intensive purposes, i am rooted and established…secure in who God made me and not easily moved. i receive my nourishment from my God and have a firm foundation in who i am in Him. but the further up and up and up and away i get from Him, the further up into the elements..into the world…the wind….how easily swayed i can get. i worry. i am prideful. i am selfish. i am not thankful. wow it sure feels windy up here. ooooh, how these circumstances sway me sometimes. i think so many people see me for my trunk. and only my trunk. over these last months and months of illness, i have been brought face to face with who i really am and all that God wants to work in me. and i have found out a lot of what i would like to allow Him to change. i have been blessed as He has grown those top branches thicker and leaves stronger, so that when (not if) more winds come, i won’t be so easily blown about. but i’d be lying if i said that i haven’t been blown about quite a bit as well. i have also loved being able to love and accept that we are all just a bunch of trees….some of us might have super thick trunks, some of us might be more than 50 feet tall….some of us might think we are 50 feet tall when in reality we are much, much smaller….it doesn’t matter… if we aren’t rooted in Him…if that is not what we are established in…then you’d better hold on, because wind is surely in the forecast for today. and for today, it may be gale force…it may be a light breeze that wouldn’t even blow your skirt up…it doesn’t matter, none of us are getting out of this without some swayin to and fro.
read matthew 13. be the seed that grows the root that bears the fruit. winds will come. we will cry out to our God. He will hear our cries…and strengthen us….every one of us.