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Plant a tree

I came across a little bit of truth that made me ponder a bit. You see, most of us have a very hard time understanding faith - we cannot really explain it, although we try to put it into words, those words somehow just fail to adequately explain how it is we live our lives in Christ Jesus. Here are the words I'd like you to contemplate just a little this morning:

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit. (D. Elton Trueblood)

I'd have to say Trueblood not only hit the 'faith' nail on the head, but he also described how it is that Christ calls us to live our lives. If you have ever planted a tree from seed, watched it take root, then begin to fill out a little bit, you are encouraged, aren't you? You know it is well underway toward becoming a full-grown tree - but you realize you may never really sit under those outstretched boughs and actually feel the comfort of the shade and rest found there. It didn't stop you from planting it, though. Somehow we take the steps to plant what we may only begin to enjoy, but which will provide much more enjoyment for those who come after us. Our faith is like that - we take that tiny seed of faith, plant it, nurture it, and begin to watch it grow. Then one day we may experience some tiny result of that growth, but the real result of that seed is not really known to us. 

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Trueblood also observed that "faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation". Chew on that one for a moment. Repeat it to yourself a few times. Even stop to read it out loud to yourself. Why? Faith is trust without reservation - sometimes our 'reservations' need to be spoken out loud. Somehow in the speaking 'out loud' of what it is we are struggling to trust fully, we see how utterly foolish our lack of trust really is. We see our reservations begin to take a backseat to our faith and before long, we have unloaded those reservations on a street corner somewhere to find a ride with somebody else! What is it you are struggling to trust God with today? Maybe it is a matter having to do with your health. Speak it out loud. Let him hear those words of reservation. In so doing, God will begin to help you see where there is a seed of hope, even in the midst of those words of reservation. He will show you where to plant that seed - where it will take hold and grow - then where it will become a great 'tree' of faith that others will be able to enjoy long into the future.

Perhaps you are struggling with a question about your ability to walk in obedience in a matter God has pinpointed in your life. Speak it out loud. Go ahead - let those reservations be known to God. They won't catch him by surprise. Now, let him weed out the reservations, find that tiny seed of faith, and then get it planted. You won't see growth the moment you plant the seed, but the more you nurture the seed, the more it will take root. Just sayin!

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