Just a short blog really. Ton’s to write about, but little time at the moment. I’m too busy enjoying my kids and my husband during Christmas break.
I will write this: My day began with emails from some CCA people. (CCA is the Christian Comedy Association, with members like Chonda Pierce, Ken Davis, Nazarath, and other Christian speakers and artists too numerous to mention, all of us Christian.) It started with a word of encouragement from our President of CCA, followed by an Amen from one member. Another shared the wisdom of how important it is *not* to contract food poisoning while in Cambodia on New Years (his web page is ironically called throwingup.com – he’s a juggler) and then my next email following this chain was another exhortation for the new years.
Life’s up’s and downs in one chain. All I could do was look at those emails (from a few of my hero’s in the faith and industry) and consider myself blessed beyond measure, that God would allow me to be part of such an amazing group of speakers, comics, and evangelists.
2007 was a rough year for some of us, depression, cancer, epilepsy, ministry struggles, and what not. A friend lost her nephew to suicide last night, and another lost her husband this morning. More of life already unfolding. And yet “because of the Lord’s Great love, we know that we will not be consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. And no matter what this day brings, His faithfulness is great. (lam 3:22-33)
On the morning of the great Tulsa ice storm, I sat on my back porch with my coffee wrapped in a blanket, whining at God about the devastation taking place right before my eyes. Standing proud and presently unharmed was my maple tree. She was my lone tree. The only one left. So I started talking to her, much like an old friend. “You’re strong you know. Beautiful. This storm doesn’t mean anything. You are a Maple Tree. Created to last. Created to withstand harsh winters. Created to give fruit (maple syrup) to other’s. You are important. Hang in there.”
Great words of affirmation – even if it was for a tree. Then I started talking to God. Asking him to spare my last remaining tree. The one my kids climb. The one that is about 20 years old. No, it doesn’t look like much – but it’s my tree God. And then he whispered in my heart, “I am the vine, and you are the branches.”
Wasn’t that cool of God? Speaking to my heart in the storm. Reminding me of his faithfulness. Putting a scripture on my heart just when I needed it most. I snuggled down in my blanket with my cup of coffee in my hands for warmth, and felt for a moment, cozy and safe in His arms.
Then from out of nowhere, I hear this C-A-R-A-C-K!!!!
Down falls the biggest branch from my sad maple tree.
“Oh Thanks a lot God!, Great Visual! Here I am all happy to be part of your vine – YOU put that verse on my heart. It’s not like I made it up you know~! Yeah, I’m comforted.
With that, more branches fell.
This time, I hunkered back down in my blanket, not in secure warmth, but more like a childish pout. He could have left me like that, but he didn’t. Again I heard his whisper, “You don’t get it, do you? YOU’RE not that tree, and my vine? Nothing can snatch you away, no storm, no weight, no sin. Your name is carved into my hand, and you are mine.”
You don’t have to drive far to see how badly this last storm whiped out some of our greatest trees. It’ll be a long time before Tulsa looks the same. Our streets are lined with the debris, waiting for FEMA to pick it up. And yet, God’s word remains.
His mercies are new each day, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 31-39
And in case someone hasn’t told you lately. “You’re strong you know. And when you’re not feeling so strong, remember that God is stronger. You are beautiful. This present storm in your life doesn’t mean anything. You might be pressed, but you will not be crushed by it’s weight. You are created to last. Created to withstand harsh winters and sweet summers. Created to bear fruit to other’s. You are important, to God and to me. Hang in there.”
Speak to the storms in your life, and most importantly speak to God.
God Bless you all in 2008