23 October 2011

Under the (Broom)Tree

Almost exactly one year ago I (Jim) wrote some thoughts I had while lying under the Jacaranda tree in our yard playing hooky from one of the sessions during RVA's Spiritual Emphasis Week.  Most of my thoughts were reflections on God's grace and provision and my struggle to accept His gift and actually trust that God has my best interests in mind. You might want to read it here.

This year at Spiritual Emphasis Week I did not skip a single lesson.  I went to every session.  At one of the last, the speaker was talking about Elijah.  In 1 Kings 18, we hear the story of how Elijah, in great faith, prayed to God in front of the prophets of Baal and how God sent down fire on Elijah's offering, then Elijah killed all 450 prophets of Baal and finally God has Elijah end years of drought.  As if that weren't enough, Elijah is then overcome by the spirit and outruns the chariot of king Ahab to queen Jezebel.  I'm not sure what Elijah was expecting to happen next but apparently hearing Jezebel say that she'd have Elijah killed wasn't it.  Jezebel's threat freaks Elijah out and he begins running for his life - scared - like he's totally forgotten everything that happened that day.  The following day, he's sitting under a broom tree begging God to take his life.  

It's laughable, really.  Elijah has one unbelievably productive day spiritually and then he's caught totally off-guard by one unexpected hurdle and he runs off into the desert and gives up in despair.

I'm pretty sure this wasn't the speaker's point, but as I walked back home in a gentle rain remembering my time under the Jacaranda tree almost exactly one year earlier, I could see myself sitting under that broom tree.  It seems like the last year has been an incredible one - probably the richest of my life - with many lessons and examples of God's provision but spiritually, I feel like I'm in the same place!  I'm sitting there under my broom tree needing some special encouragement after having just witnessed God's provision for our family.  I guess it was just the sort of encouragement I needed at the time - I'm feeling better about things now.  Isn't it great how God provides for us?

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