AGAINST THE GRAIN!
These are words I’ve heard my Pastor use for the past 24 years as he describes how sin goes against the grain of God’s creation. God has instilled within each of us an eternal spirit of goodness which has been push down into the depths of this course, calloused covering called a body, and just as a tree our outer shell grows thick and tough over time. Again, like a tree, each year that we grow another layer of worldly teachings and wife’s tales are added for what we are to believe and who we are to become. These layers set the pattern of our worldly grain which is nothing more than our thoughts, actions, and beliefs. Since following Jesus is going against the worldly grain which is filled with splinters of sin and Satan’s wrath, making for a hard, rough, and painful task. God has given us a way (Jesus) to go with the grain causing our task to be much smoother. God loved us enough to send a carpenter to show us the way, Matthew 13:55 (NLT), Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.
I think it fantastic as to all the analogies used to describe Jesus’s ability to help us such as Jesus grew up to be a carpenter by trade and yet it speaks of us as being clay and He being the potter, He is also known as the great physician, and the teacher just to name a few. While clearing my mind this morning before starting to write, He gave me this thought. Clay for the most part is soft and manageable for the potter to work with, and most of the people that come unto God fit this description. Whereas I was in the group, which was that of the hardest wood, stubborn, unidirectional, dense, deep grained, and heavy. That being said, God sent His greatest specialist to teach me how to shave away those worldly corners and remove those unsightly habits for God’s smooth sweet spirit to be revealed for all to see. God loves me and you enough, that He has three (God, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit) smoothing our task to assure we’re victorious in every way!
For years I wondered why my dad called me a “Knott Head,” and today I can see that He saw what God was seeing, an unruly, out-of-control, non-believing, young man who had life by the tail. The bible is full of examples of me before Jesus using fruit trees as a comparison. I’ve listed a few verses if you’d care to explore: Joel 1:12, Proverbs 11:30, Matthew 12:33, Mark 4:30-32. It appears today’s world is more interested in the sound good than the relevant as many judge according to the beauty of the tree, with little thought as to the fruit it may bear. My example, which is also my confession; I once lived in a house that had several holly trees around it in which I admired for looks and yet hated to take care of because of those needlepoint leaves. I never allowed them to get tall enough to be a tree as I liked them to be bushes covered with those deep dark green leaves and filled with clusters of bright red berries. Fact is, they were beautifully useless! In which for years that is what I was to many people. I had a lovely presentation with no substance or future to back it up and to make matters worse, that is the type of people I chose to “HANG” with.
This is ever so true in living life on earth, we choose to ignore a lot of questionable behavior to receive a little pleasure. Our roots go deep while our memories, thoughts, and regrets remain shallow. This is why so many of us run into the same tree repeatedly, we refuse to remember the consequences (cost) of such previous events, the fact remains people tend to attract and be ok with what their use to, no matter what that consists of. Some of this can be contributed to our upbringing which has ingrained patterns and traits the may be harmful or toxic to reasoning and feed a refusal to seek and accept change. Some have developed a thick bark, fed by the lies we’ve told ourselves, and now believe them to be true. This is why we are in dire need of The Ultimate Carpenter! The only one who can cut through the thick bark of our past, and smooth away the ugly left behind, to bring forth the beauty God has placed inside to give us a future. It takes His grit to defeat the grind!
Father God, I pray for Jesus to smooth away everything in us that is not pleasing to you. I pray that we would cooperate with Him to awaken and restore that which you created in us. I pray that each of us would have the ultimate desire, passion, and resolve to live as it is written in Psalm 52:8 (NLT), But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love. Lord, I know this fruit is of you, so I pray your favor to be on our harvest for you this day. Thank you, for polishing our humanness to your great pleasure and for our great joy. Help us be your carpenter to those you bring our way. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
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