“Thus says the Lord God: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it…that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish.” Ezekiel 17:22-24
In Haiti, the young family gathers to share their meager provisions in the shade of a nearby tree at the heat of the day. Having spent the entirety of the morning breaking the large river rocks into pebble size gravel, they have seemingly little to show for it. And yet, they cannot let up because it takes a truckload to earn $50, to feed their family for the month and the span of a month to do it. With each day that they must strive for that day’s food the more that the idea of a feast becomes more of a fairy tale.
She awakes up even before the sun and takes to task early preparations for her family before she sets out for a full day at work, greeting them again at bedtime. Grateful for the time that she has, but wanting so much more time with them. Feeling the uphill climb, as a single mom she wonders when the time will come when life will be a bit easier. Do they know how very much that they are loved, and all that she does just to make everyday a reality?
He has everything that he could ever ask for so why does he feel this profound emptiness and longing for more? A lifestyle that others would envy, a spacious home with all the niceties of life and a job that covers far more than the essentials. Between work and playtime he has little time to fill his soul. His is a different poverty, for while this world has provided much to satisfy his wants he lacks what he truly needs.
Sometimes due to a variety of circumstances, perhaps not within our control, a life of survival can become paramount as we move from day to day. Yet, how do we even conceive of a life apart from this when this is all that we have known? How do we accept the greatness that God has called us to do and to be, against such odds? And still, God reminds us that it is he who renews, and creates possibilities where none existed before. But we have to be ready to surrender our now for an unforeseen future and trust that His plan is so much bigger than our own.
In albeit much smaller ways, we can so easily become creatures of habit. Allowing our schedules to dictate what we do or how we move through our lives, we cease to invite God to be the primary mover. Instead, these shallow roots of ours make us easy prey to the thoughts and whims of others. Wake, eat, work, play and sleep- we rinse and repeat until the thought of a new day is but a faint memory. With no space reserved for the potential for change or hope in the Lord we begin to “wither on the bed where we once grew”.
New Year and new resolutions to be made? Trade in your today for His vision of tomorrow!
Are you ready to be re-planted today? What might be holding you back from letting go and putting your trust and roots deep in where God wants to move you?