Monthly Archives: November 2015

Banana Trees

Banana trees are persistent. You chop them down only for them to grow back again.

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For the last two weeks we have been trying to clear the banana trees out back at the center. I dig them up until all I see is mud and dirt, assuming the tree no longer remains. Then the next day when I walk out back they are there again growing up through rocks, weeds, trash, tree stumps. These trees are relentless!

A few days ago I realized I was digging up the tree but I was not uprooting it completely. The roots were still there, deeply rooted in the ground. Because the roots were still there, every day the tree was continuing to reproduce and grow back.

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As I realized this and saw the need to dig deeper and completely rid the ground of the tree and roots I couldn’t help but relate it to our lives.

We have a lot of junk in our lives. Past hurt. Failure. Lies we keep telling ourselves. Shame. Murder. Idolatry. Guilt. Sin.

Junk we need to be redeemed and freed from. Things that are blocking us from fully experiencing God and all he has for us.

We recognize this sin because it is big, tall, and obviously in the way. So we let God do his thing and start chopping it down. It hurts to let go of but we walk in obedience and let God bring the healing we long for.

The weight has been lifted. Through God’s grace we can experience peace. The tree is no longer in the way.

Time passes and the sin begins growing back. Breaking through the surface and trying to destroy you again.

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You think God has already cut this out of your life and you don’t understand why it’s back.

But you know you don’t want it. So you let God chop away again. You just don’t let him chop too close. You don’t let him dig too deep. You let him cleanse you to an extent but you don’t let him dig where it hurts too much.

You don’t let him take the roots out, the roots that are tangled around your heart.

The tree begins growing back again. It’s life source-the roots-still there.

Until one day you decide you have let the enemy win for far too long. It’s time to claim the victory God has been trying to give you all along.

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So you let God chop and dig away one last time. This time giving him the space to work. Letting him dig as deep as he wants, no matter the pain. Because you know when the roots are gone, there will be nothing left. It will be completely uprooted. There is no longer anything choking your heart.

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It was a long, messy process. It was painful. At times you didn’t want the hurt caused by the uprooting, you just wanted to walk in the sin because it was easier. But eventually you realized there is more. More of God that you can not see until you let God conquer, from the roots.

Freedom, true freedom, has come!

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A few months ago the Lord walked me through the book of Nehemiah. If you don’t know a whole lot about this book in the bible, so much of it is focused on Nehemiah and the qualities he has to lead the people and bring them through trials and opposing people.

Since then I’ve thought a lot about leaders and the leadership I’ve been placed under. As I think about these things it blows my mind that in many jobs and leadership roles there are people who do not seek the Lord for answers and direction. I cannot imagine a leader who does not listen to the Lord and follow after his desires and heart. I truly have no idea how earthly leaders try to lead in their own power. I do not know how they survive the day. Where do they get their strength and encouragement from? How do they fight and overcome the battles by themselves?

Lately I have been so incredibly thankful that God has placed me under direct leadership from someone who seeks the Lord in all circumstances. Someone who lets the Lord lead. Someone who follows the Spirit’s guidance. Someone who listens to the voice of the Lord and obeys, despite the difficulties that it might bring. Someone who treats everyone with equality and fairness. Someone who listens to both sides of the story. Someone who is not prideful or determined for their voice to be heard. Someone who does not live by their own power but through the power and strength of the Lord. Someone who knows God is the true leader and seeks his wisdom and guidance in decisions.

I have not written a blog in a long time because God has not laid any words on my heart. But as I sit here this morning he has filled me with words of thankfulness for the leadership I get to follow under.

If you follow under a leader who knows God is actually their leader and humbly leads you, thank them today, their job is not easy. If you follow under a leader who is trying to lead in their own power, pray for them today.

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