“Love comes to those who still hope even though they’ve been disappointed,
to those who still believe even though they’ve been betrayed,
to those who still love even though they’ve been hurt before.”
This is a quote I found today while piffling through a young artist’s website. It caught my attention of course, because my name is in it, but also because of what it is saying. No matter what the circumstances may be hope does not disappoint. Romans 5:55 “Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” My hope is in HIM, my help comes from HIM.
People are imperfect. I am imperfect. God still loves them and He still loves me. This is the kind of AGAPE love that only God has. It is perfect love. Like He is perfect, so is His love. People may disappoint us. Matter of fact, people will surely disappoint us. Our hope does not come from them, whether they do right or wrong. Our hope comes from Him. People will betray us. You think you know someone. You find out you really didn’t know them at all. We really don’t know ourselves. Just like Peter (John 13:38), I have done some things I wouldn’t think I would do. These things in life hurt us, but understand, hurt is a feeling, we are not to live by feelings but by what we know. Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning” I find hope in this, hurt wont last forever.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
2Co 4:8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2Co 4:9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
I have been in a sabbatical mode for the last month. This experience has been an intimate time with Yahweh and no part of it would I take for granted. I began the time asking HIM to prune me, mold me and fill me. I want to be HIS hands and feet. He has answered my desires. It all has not been that glorious but it was definitely needed. Certain things that I have not really thought about before were brought to my attention.
A professional horticulturalist doesn’t hack away at a tree or plant. He doesn’t do it simply for esthetic reasons. Pruning is required to trim away deadwood, remove disease and tissues that inhibit healthy growth. Also it helps to control and direct growth by giving it shape.
Pruning is something that is part of life whether it is done by a gardener, by nature or by God Himself . It is usually not a pleasant experience and the immediate effects can leave the pruned looking and feeling rather stripped down and exposed.
The last month has left me feeling rather stripped and exposed. Sometimes we go through life and stuff just starts to attach itself to us. Once it does, the potential for growth can be effected.
Everyone knows that a rotten tree doesn’t grow good fruit and who wants or needs rotten fruit?
This time of pruning hasn’t been easy. I’ve been completely present and awake for this spiritual surgery. The things revealed to me haven’t been a complete surprise…let’s face it. When there’s a huge bump protruding from your noggin…you know it and the same goes for spiritual bumps. So it seems at least for now, like my beloved tree, the Master Gardener has finished pruning me for this season. And again, like my tree, I am feeling somewhat worse for the wear. The wonderful thing is that I know in a few weeks or months from now, like that tree, I will be stronger than ever and more fruitful…and isn’t that the whole point?
John 15:1 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser.
John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
In the Book of Esther, we read of King Xerxes, “When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. Then the king asked, ‘what is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.’” Esther 5:2-3.
The Old Testament addresses the protocol required when approaching the Tabernacle. In fact, not just anyone could approach it, regardless of their status or position in life. Only the priests were permitted entrance to the Tabernacle and even then, they had a set of regulations that had to be followed prior to their entrance. Only the High Priest could enter the Most Holy Place. There was no scepter. There was no chance God was going to allow anyone to approach without following His protocol, that’s how Holy He is.
The fact that God is Holy hasn’t changed. Because He is Perfect and Righteous and Just, He cannot break protocol. He still has to be revered as Holy; He cannot be in the presence of ungodliness. But imagine a King who loves and longs for intimacy with His love that He does what only He can do to make sure that access to Him is always available. Jesus is the Scepter that God holds out to us, the Scepter that cleanses us in order to permit us limitless, infinite access to the King who offers more than half His Kingdom. He offers Himself. He loves me…I am blessed among women to access Him with boldness. I am a highly favored.
“Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty – he is the King of glory. Selah,” Psalm 24:10.