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The Growth in You

There are some days that living the Christian life comes with a lot of persecution. The blows from others are so consistent we start to wonder if the comments they are saying are true. Our worth is not feeling so worthy. While we know we are doing the right thing their is still this unexplainable feeling going on in us. It reminds me of this Olive tree we have.
We live on 10 acres and our land has been in the family since 1948. So to some it is just land with a run down old house. But for others it is a land full of stories and memories. This Olive tree is just one more story to the list of stories.
Where this Olive tree is located there use to be a line of trees. There were so many that they were crowded together. However, the days of tree clustering slowly started coming to an end once we moved out here in 1991. I think my step-dad made it his mission to clear trees out. This area where this Olive tree is was a location of one of his missions. 
He cut all the trees down. It took some time and I watched as the progress was being made over time. His mission finally came to an end. I looked out and there was this tall tree with maybe a couple of branches on it, which they were all sticking straight up. Only one branch had leaves and there was not very many. 
I asked, “Why didn’t you cut that tree down it looks dead?” He said, “That is an Olive tree and those are good trees. It was smothered from all the other trees so it was not able to grow. Now that the trees that were taking what it needed away from it are gone it will grow.” 
Every summer when it comes time to mow I have stared at this tree while I mowed. I have wondered why is an Olive tree all that. I have wondered if it was every going to grow like it is suppose to. I have pretty much sat in wonder of this Olive tree trying to see what my step-dad saw in this tree.
Now in looking at it I no longer wonder. I can see what my step-dad saw. Today it is a beautiful full tree. It produces olives and shares them with the ground underneath. I can not tell you how many little trees I have had to mow over. If I don’t get to them soon enough there are an abundance of them.
After a day of persecution maybe you feel like this Olive tree looked. Beat down and not seeing a lot of good in you. But the One that allowed you where you are sees a lot of good in you. He sees that where you are is clearing away all the things that are smoothering you from growing into full bloom. As they are removed the light is able to get in to grow such an abundance of fruit that it will be an overflow. 

God loves you like crazy.

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The One That Sees All

Here I Go Again. I was in the bathroom; I whispered something I should have resisted from making public. It begun when I got out of bed this morning. Oh, it will be okay no one is around.

Driving to work a jeep turned in front of me. Frustrated, I yelled at him from inside an enclosed car. Whew! No one was in the car to examine me acting like a fool.

Finally, at work.

Sitting at my desk, my eyes intensely on the computer screen. Out of the corner of my eye I see Sharon, a woman in which our personalities clash, walking up to my desk. She starts talking about personal issues going on in her life.  Struggling to listen because my patients are low. The only thing I can think about, is how I want her to shut up and leave. Her high pitch tone is scraping every one of my nerves inside. I close my eyes, to focus, so I do not say something I should not. The tone in her words is getting louder and louder. Each time it rises, so does my stress level. I can’t take it anymore. I look at her and my mouth comes open, spewing every reason I was not interested in her story. She looked at me with hurt in her eyes and walked away. I was instantly convicted by my actions. I bowed my head asking, “Lord, I need you to help my thoughts and give me self-control over my mouth.”

Why is it when we are in private we assume our thoughts are unharmful until those same ideas come out of our mouth in front of others?

Lately, I have been reminded of how God knows every thought, the good and bad, even when we assume He does not.

Too often we concentrate on the wrong we have done in the past. But what about the good?

Good, like what He will accomplish with our life.

Good, like having characteristics that resemble Christ.

Instead of accepting the valuable things, our response is the same as we say privately in the bad. “Yes, Lord I read what you revealed about me but in my ears, I hear the other.” Inside we are doubting like Moses, claiming, “That is not me. I cannot do that.” It becomes a reasoning game with God. Something like, “Lord, I gather what you are suggesting about me, but let me explain who I am. Let me inform you what my skills are, in which I am valuable. Let me instruct you on what you can do with my story.” As God listens never speaking a word He ends up just showing me He knows better than I do.

Afterwards, I ask myself, “Why do I do this?” Doubt. Unbelief. Lack of faith. Resorting back to our former ways, instead of trusting what God reveals.

What makes it worse is that Satan knows these weak areas. He comes in with a pick ax, just chopping away to beat us down. He shouts at our insecurities, as our ears become deaf to all those things that God has spoken. When we can’t hear what God says anymore, we travel back to our own knowledge. Putting our trust in our self because we have survived taking care of our self for years. Instead of allowing God to enter in and prune us to grow into what He has said. The downfall to this is we miss out on the exciting and unbelievable things God prefers to do in us.

Therefore, I encourage you to never give up on what God declares about you. He might put you through the fire to produce in you what He sees. In those trying times draw upon God’s Word as His strength and power gets you through. Before you know it, you will start seeing what He sees in you.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12 

Jeremiah 17:9-10 

Romans 11:3-36 

Hebrews 4:12-13 

Romans 12:2 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

In the comment section below please share your thoughts. If you are unsure where to start here are questions to help you get going:

1)     Are your first thoughts the good or bad?

2)     If you could describe your thoughts how would you describe them? Would they be what God thinks of you or different?