Ocean Dancer

This morning I was sitting in my car at the beach while a young girl was braving the cold water. These words simply flowed from my pen to the paper:

The cold water surrounds you
Like a warm woolen blanket
The micro currents rippling
Around your bare legs
The ocean, alive with promise
While holding centuries of secrets
Rejuvenates the part of you
That has forgotten how to live
Freely and unselfconciously
You jump, you move, you dance, and forget
The strangers on the shore
Watching every move
Because your graceful moves
Are not for them
Only for yourself
Only for your own soul
For the nourishment of
The places that have become parched
The places that have learned to survive
On strict rations
Of glimmers of hope
Even when there was none
You feel life in the salty water
You feel that you can go forward
You know, suddenly, that life
Does have meaning
That tomorrow
You can face the day
That all is not lost
And that life will be good again.

Deep calls to deep

We have lots of trees in our little town. There are very few houses that don’t have at least one tree in the yard, and many have more than one. We also have an indigenous natural forest in our district.

I grew up on a farm and climbing trees was one of our favourite pastimes. Trees are very much a part of my life.

Psalm 1:3,  He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.

Jeremiah 17:7-8, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

And whose hope is the Lord.

For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,

Which spreads out its roots by the river,

And will not fear when heat comes;

But its leaf will be green,

And will not be anxious in the year of drought,

Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

I thought about the tree planted by the water which bears fruit and has green leaves throughout the year. Its roots are spread out so that it will be firmly planted and also it will be able to receive water from deeper than the surface. It will not be touched by drought.

Just think about it. Our roots have to be deep enough so that the daily comings and goings don’t affect us. Our faith must be strong enough to withstand the blows that life throws at us. Just like the tree stands firm when there are storms, so we have to be able to stand firm when different trials and temptations come our way. We have to be able to stand firm when the devil tries to make us believe that we have no option but to collapse in a blubbering heap. The tree allows its roots to seek water and nourishment deeper and deeper underground. Likewise we have to keep pushing in and seeking the nourishment that the Lord has for us. Deeper and deeper until we find what we need for the season we are in.

Psalm 42:6-8, (Passions translation) Here I am depressed and downcast.

Yet I will still remember you as I ponder the place

where your glory streams down from the mighty mountaintops, lofty and majestic—the mountains of your awesome presence.

My deep need calls out to the deep kindness of your love.

Your waterfall of weeping sent waves of sorrow

over my soul, carrying me away,

cascading over me like a thundering cataract.

Yet all day long God’s promises of love pour over me.

Through the night I sing his songs,

for my prayer to God has become my life.

It says, “My deep need calls out to the deep kindness of Your love.” That is so profound. We have to call out to the kindness of God’s love. God loves us more than we can ever comprehend. There is nothing on earth that even begins to compare to God’s love for us. He loves us so much that He was willing to look on while His only son was battered, beaten, belittled and crucified so that we could taste the freedom He offers us. Not one of us deserves that freedom, but God loves us so much that He offers it as a gift. We can’t purchase it or even work for it. How is that for love?

Now a tree that is planted by the water and that send out its roots for nourishment and that has green leaves that never wither certainly won’t want to be planted in any other place. It has everything that it needs, in abundance. Once we enter a relationship with Jesus we mustn’t get tempted to move away from that relationship. We should have the picture of a beautiful green tree in our mind; full of fruit and with roots firmly planted. We have to be constantly putting our roots deeper and deeper into scripture, into a closer relationship and into getting into the presence of the Holy Spirit. We have to personify that tree so that all can see that there is more to life than merely existing.

Spiritual drought

I was watering the garden begin the shop in the late afternoon. I just took two small buckets and gave the plants the bare minimum of water. I didn’t have the time or the inclination to do more. Everything is really extremely dry because of the lack of rain and also because of my lack of care.
God showed me that the church is like my garden. The people who haven’t given up of the church and left, are barely holding on. Their roots are even drying out. Their leaves are wilting or brittle. They aren’t receiving the water of the Holy Spirit, the living water that they so desperately need in order to grow.

The caretakers of the garden (church) don’t take the time or have the inclination to spend time in the Word to get filled up and to bubble over and spill over. The people who are sitting in the pews are satisfied with the scraps because they haven’t received the real life-giving water for so long that they don’t know any better. They aren’t reaching out and searching for more. Complacency has set in and apathy is the order of the day. If the gardener isn’t excited about growing plants how can the plants be excited, and if he convinces the plants that they are receiving enough water who are they to argue?
The other thing I noticed was that there were thorns sticking into the soles of my shoes. They are very aptly named devil’s thorns. Picking up ‘thorns’ is very easy when there isn’t any nourishment and water.
For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
Proverbs 1:32