Lessons From the Pine

It’s only been six months since I last posted. I almost forgot how to do this.

2015-12-04 17.21.442015-12-04 17.20.51

Cut-offs & Cast-aways

This afternoon it dawned on me that I had received a tangible illustration of an earlier conversation from this morning. Early in the day I met with a friend to discuss some issues that I am facing in life. I needed counsel, reassurance, and another set of eyes on my situation. During the conversation we discussed about how God views us. It’s never been a secret that I struggle with how God views me. Partly due to the way I perceive my upbringing, wrong theology that has bored its way into my heart over time, and spiritual attack, I constantly battle with the idea that God is somehow disgusted with me. And, with such thinking, am constantly bombarded with fear that God is going to toss me to the side with an exasperated sigh.

Not so.

How I am overwhelmed with the reminders that God always views me as accepted and as a prized possession! Whether through a sermon at our church, Mission Point Community Church, or through conversations with a friend, I have been reminded, time and again, that I am a crucial and beneficial…and loved…child of God.

Here’s the tangible part:

I am preparing for the upcoming maple syrup season. Today I made a run to Nappanee where I loaded a trailer load of cut-off 2x4s for future use in the boiling process. As I was stacking this wood in my garage tonight, I realized that I had my hands on a perfect illustration of what I had been mulling over all day. See, these odds and ends of pine lumber are thrown into a huge pile and designated as “waste” by the truss company. The company can’t use these small, cast-away cut-offs. Since they serve no purpose, they are thrown out.

But usefulness is in the eye of the owner.

Once I saw these cut-offs and paid the going rate to purchase a trailer load, I had in my possession a key component in being successful in the maple syrup process! In fact, I would not be able to do what I desire without these “cast-aways”. These awkward, mis-fit pieces of wood – (none of which are the same) – will become the kindling and fuel for an extremely hot fire to boil maple sap down. They will play a vital role in allowing us to produce that liquid, amber gold, known as maple syrup.

Other people may not see the value in these pieces of cut-offs, but I do. In fact, I treasure them. I needed them so much that I was willing to pay a price to secure them as mine. They are valuable to me.

And, so it is with Jesus and me. In the past few years I’ve heard the statements, absorbed the pain and rejection, and began to believe the deception. But Jesus never wavered in his belief that I was worth it. I was worth the price he paid. And, no matter how awkward I appear, or mis-fit I seem to others, I will be used by Jesus to bring about something that matters a lot to him.

It’s an amazing thing to realize that I am still desirable in the eyes of God. Issues, failures, dis-belief and all.

I’m overwhelmed.

Again.

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