We’ve been battered by stormy gales and winds coupled with pouring rains in the UK this past week that our potted Japanese Maple in the garden kept taking a tumble. Funny, its shoots are like a climbing plant's tendril: Soft and tender, prone to easy breakages. An expensive piece at £51.99 GBP - that is in the regions of $75USD - mindful of my investment not being killed, I pulled it in into the warmth of our inner shelter! I think it was the right thing to do.
In the same way, Father-God nurtures and shelters us away from stormy gales that are brewing up, unbeknownst to us. This Jap Maple could have whined and complained about me withdrawing it away from direct sunlight. It could have moaned about missing the camaraderie of the earth and its green grass surrounding. It could have complained of being pulled away from the natural company of other trees. It most likely would have labeled me a tyrant in its little mind! Just like we do when Father-God too decides to shelter us from the storm that would break us.
This baby had suffered some breakages to its twirling, pretty tendrils. It may not have minded that. But I do mind! It's my tree. Purchased with my money. Taken home by me. I am responsible for its upkeep until it is matured enough to understand the motive behind my pulling it inwards, into the safe shelter!
When you too are tempted to moan, complain, and grind your teeth at God pulling you away into the shelter of His wings, remember Isaiah 61:3 wherein you are called, "the planting of the Lord" whom He had bought with a price! When I look at my baby tree, I hear in my spirit one word: SHELTERED! I know God shelters me! That is the first precious truth; the second being: God sheltered me so that I may be able to shelter those in the path of the oncoming gales and storms of life! Never forget that!
I'd not always remembered that fact in retrospect. Three decades ago, I'd have turned my nose at those battling addictions. Or those who were undergoing or had been through the divorce process. Because I never understood how that could be, until midlife crisis knocked upon the doors of my marriage in 2004/5 - and had caused me to file for divorce! Then, I'd understood the stigma, the searing, the shame, and the pain associated with divorce.
"Then it had dawned on me that divorce happens to blameless people too! Then my bowels of compassion had been tickled!"
Apart from sufferers who wouldn't accept our hands of fellowship, suggestions and advice to help, we are to shelter the afflicted away from their afflicters/afflictions!
Jesus assured and instructed Peter: "... and when you have (understood my dealings and doings), strengthen your brothers and sisters" (Luke 22:32).
Do you believe that this Word is for you?
Photo credit: Sammy Joseph Ministries. Copyrighted photo used by permission and must not be reproduced, stored, or altered without the written permission of the copyrights holder!