I shared this picture, of the two trees, recently on this blog. Yesterday, Steve shared it at the beginning of His sermon. He asked for people in the audience to tell what they saw in the picture and then he'd make some connections. A few of the connections that he made were:
- We don't see that there is a huge root system that allows these two trees to stand strong together. The roots are where the trees receive their nourishment... the roots are the supporting foundation of the trees...
- We don't see the multiple stages of growth that have entertwined the roots, branches, and leaves of these two trees. Through the good times and the bad, the trees have grown together.
- We don't see the storms (suffering)... all the lightning, thunder, wind, rain, snow, hail, etc. that these trees have endured.
- We don't see the beginning of these two trees. So, we don't know if someone put the fence there before or after they were planted. What we see is that in spite of barriers between the two trees, it did not stop them from staying connected.
- "One of the greatest books on participating in the divine nature of God is 2 Corinthians."
- "The book of 2nd Corinthians uses 456 personal pronouns... by far Paul's most personal letter..."
- "It's a book that teaches us that suffering transforms us and changes us from the inside out!"
- The book talks about the The Spirit or the spirit in over half of it's chapters... a key word in this book is COMFORT... the Holy Spirit is our COMFORTER...
2 Corinthians 1:2-8
- 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
- 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
- 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
- 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
- 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
- 8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered..."
Steve reminded us that God is not our "Genie in a bottle", but He is God Almighty. He is not here so that our wish is His command. In fact, He is not in our lives for the purpose of making us happy, but to make us HOLY! Suffering has a way of molding and shaping God's people into HOLINESS! It is an invitation to participate in the very nature of God... taking each hurt or wound, accepting it, and using it to minister to others: WOUNDED HEALING!
The two trees? They stand together, protecting each other (somewhat) from the elements. Their root systems are entertwined. They have suffered much together, but stand firm in spite of barriers.
For meditation? Connect the following:
- This post
- This week's scripture memory
- This week's theme song
- The 6 points over on the right sidebar that are underneath the picture of the Potter's Hands and the Clay.