2/8/09

Brokenness - The Pruning Season

You removed a vine from Egypt; You drove out the nations
and planted it.
You cleared the ground before it,
and it took deep root and filled the land.
Why have You broken down its hedges,
so that all who pass that way pick its fruit?
O God of hosts, turn again now, we beseech You;
Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine,

Even the shoot which Your right hand has planted,
And on the son whom You have strengthened for Yourself.
[Ps. 80:8,9,12,14,15]

So it's not just me!

There's a lot of living that a blog can't cover. Sure, I can share with you that I'm in a place of transition, but it's much harder to share with you the reasons surrounding those changes.

Why, you ask?

I'm so glad you asked.

Well, for one, not
everything that happens in life is worthy of discussion. [Even though the whole 'less is more' concept is a difficult concept for a mouthy little thang like me, trust me.]

And for two, I can promise you that stating and restating and restating and restating a situation only serves to embitter and then to justify that bitterness.

And for three, I've got nothing, I'm not gonna lie. But two bullet points is just weak.

So here's the deal. I find myself in angst about the place that I'm at - emotionally, spiritually, and physically -
aaaaaall the time. You could say I'm that girl who Must Have The Answers. Like yesterday, please. In fact, I wonder about this place I'm living in almost as much as I wonder about the place that I'm going.

I know, I know.

Nosy.

But I'm not alone in my questioning, so God's got a little experience with nosy control freaks curious followers like me. The Bible is filled with laments just like Asaph's - laments from God's chosen ones. The favored few. The ones who took part in miracles and saw wondrous manifestations of His glory and grace. They struggled to understand the painful parts of the journey, too.

They also understood, just like I do, the words of Asaph, written from a broken, grieved soul, that resonate in me. There is no questioning the fact that I have been uprooted and replanted and cut back and covered in blossoms and plucked bare and uprooted again. Oh, yeah. I know that painful pruning process all too well.

And while my soul knows that everything that has shaken and twisted and bent me in a veritable tornado of emotions and misunderstandings and raw, open wounds will one day be a testimony for the purpose of His glory, that knowledge doesn't always filter down into my heart.
In fact, smack dab in the middle of circumstances beyond my control, I've been guilty of saying things like
'God, I can't ask you for Your opinion right now. Last time I followed Your plan, bullet point by bullet point, You brought me into this mess. If You don't mind, I'll just curl up in a corner for awhile.'

Because even if I don't have answers, curling up in a corner away from the storm is easier than striking out into the unknown again. Because, you know, avoidance = GREAT survival plan.

Right?

Oh, ok. Maybe not so much.

I know in my mind that He has great and beautiful plans for me
[and you, too - I see you back there. Yes, you. I see you!] because He said so;

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” [Jeremiah 29:11]

And that those visions of who I will become were formed even before I was born;

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart!” [Jeremiah 1:5]

But there are those days of life between new birth and the fulfillment of a promise that must be survived. And then there's the little matter of my inquiring heart longing for reassurance that the storm will end. And that I'll survive it.

And that's when the redeeming, restoring, sustaining love of a God who sings over me with songs of love is what I need most.

And
that's when I'm ready to be still and dwell in this promise;

"And now, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to start
all over again. I'm taking her back out into the wilderness
where we had our first date, and I'll court her. I'll give her bouquets of roses.
I'll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.
She'll respond like she did as a young girl,
those days when she was fresh out of Egypt.

At that time —this is God's Message still— "you'll
address me, 'Dear husband!' Never again will you
address me, 'My slave-master!'
I'll wash your mouth out with soap,
get rid of all the dirty false-god names;
not so much as a whisper of those names again.

At the same time I'll make a peace treaty between you
and wild animals and birds and reptiles,
And get rid of all weapons of war.
Think of it! Safe from beasts and bullies!

And then I'll marry you for good—forever!
I'll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness.
Yes, I'll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go.
You'll know me, God, for who I really am.

"On the very same day, I'll answer" - This is God's message -
"I'll answer the sky, sky will answer the earth,
Earth will answer grain, and wine, and olive oil,
and they'll all answer Jezreel.
I'll plant her in the good earth.

I'll have Mercy on No-Mercy.
I'll say to Nobody, "You're my dear Somebody"
and he'll say "You are my God!"
[Hosea 2:14-23, The Message]

His words. His plan for my life.

Faithful is He who calls you, and He will also bring it to pass. [1 Thess. 5:24]

His promise. Restoration to the joy-filled days of new hope, when dreams were created and songs burst out into celebration.

So even though I can't see the thread connecting the past to the future in my present, it's there, holding me together, reminding me of a promise of healing for the broken vine and rest for the weary soul.

Restore me, O LORD God of hosts; cause Your face to shine on me. I know this; on that day, when Your answer comes, I shall be saved. [Ps. 80:19, paraphrase]


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[the alohilana blog] by R. Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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