In the last blog I mentioned that when Mary Blake and I returned from the East Coast we planted a tree.
We've wanted a tree in our front yard for a long time, but we never got around to it. It will shade the house; it will be beautiful; it will make our street more attractive; we love trees.
All of that will take time. So we put it off because we weren't going to have any instant gratification. We put it off because a little tree does none of the things we want it to. We put it off because it would be hard work to figure out what tree to plant, to find one, and to finally get it in the ground. And it will be hard work to keep it alive until it is well established.
And then the big question: would we even live here long enough to enjoy any of that?
All of the reasons we didn't want to plant a tree are the same reasons that we needed to do it.
The last few months have been amongst the hardest of our (honestly charmed!) lives. Many hopes and dreams and aspirations have come crashing down. People we thought we could trust let us down; organizations we thought were sound revealed some deep cracks. In the midst of that we struggled hard with God about continuing in ministry. Honestly, I did not want to. I wanted to quit and move and start over and wipe the slate clean.
We wrestled with God and He won. Like Jacob wrestling with the Angel of the Lord we wanted a blessing but we didn't want to cross the river. So God won.
We planted the tree, and we planted more than that. We planted the conviction that God has called us to Redlands, and God has called us to the ministry He put in front of us four and half years ago. He may release us from that calling some day, but that day has not yet come. We are pressing forward.
With that tree in the ground, we experienced an outpouring of love and support. People who had no idea that we were struggling offered us words of encouragement. Brothers in Christ took me aside with prophetic words of scripture that confirmed our direction. Sisters laid hand on us in prayer and thanksgiving. Its hard to describe how great a gift these little miracles have been.
So a tree is in the ground, a ministry remains on track, and for all of that to God be the GLORY!