At the back edge of my daughter’s yard there stands a gnarled, withered old apple tree. When I spent several days with her last week, I found myself drawn to this tree each morning. It was the aging of the fruit scattered on the ground and the withering of the leaves that felt familiar to me somehow.
Have you ever looked around at days that feel wasted? Fruit that has gone past its prime?
As I stood staring at the tree, and as I sat on the deck pondering the picture, I heard a whisper calling me to look differently. Where I first was taken with the gnarled branches, the still small voice within me spoke,
“Where you see only waste, I see abundance. Where you see only withering, I see a solid trunk that continues to stretch Heavenward.”
And a small Haiku offering came bubbling to the surface of my heart:
Antique Apple Tree
Gnarled trunk stretches
Carries on with life even
When age withers leaf.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV
Nothing is ever wasted in God’s great Loving Timeline. He alone sets the days and the times for each of us, but as long as we have life there is fruit from the vine to be gained.
Over the past month of my blog break, the word “mercy” has taken on new meaning for me. In the past I could only tumble grace and mercy together in one large pot. Granted, they do fit together, but I believe there is a depth of mercy that can only be felt as we acknowledge the utter brokenness of our being.
Looking at my own withering has brought me to my knees. When GRACE feels like a gift too far above me, MERCY is something that I can cry out for. I know that I don’t deserve anything, and yet our God’s compassions are stirred when I look up and cry out for mercy from Him.
He meets me in the broken places and pours His mercy there. And my limbs stretch up towards Him, longing for more.
My daughter and I shared in God’s mercies as we lifted the hard trials that we each bore up to Him. And He met us with the gift of a song that expresses so clearly the words of our hearts:
When I returned home from my daughter’s house last week, I was so blessed at the words shared by my dear friend Joy Lenton over at her site Words of Joy. Looking for moments of joy, she found God’s gifts scattered throughout her day. On that very morning, His mercies were new for me also:
The day after I began yet another RA medication, this Morning Glory opened its glowing heart. As I heard God call me outside to rest with my coffee, there it lifted its radiant star next to me.
Radiant life glows
New every morning with the
Mercies of my Lord.
Are you in a place that feels withered and wasted? Would you pray with me today?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the gift of Your mercies. Thank You that You are not repelled by our brokenness, but that You are drawn by our cries for mercy. And so we do cry out: Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Have mercy on me. We feel so withered by the aging this world heaves upon us. We groan along with creation, awaiting our full redemption. Will You pour over us Your new mercies, here today? Will You fill us with Your new life as we are waiting before You? We raise our arms before You here, looking up to Your great love.
In the name of Jesus we pray,
“It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 KJV
I am linking this week with: