Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thank you for the leaves!

One not so typical 73 degree Saturday in February, my family decided it was time to hop into an early spring cleaning mode and get a head-start on the yard. There were a few leaves that had been left over from the fall so we took the opportunity to enjoy each other and the nice weather while we had a chance. Seventy degree days in February in the Hampton Roads area don’t come along too often so we hurried to get outside to get started.
I have to admit I was a bit excited to be in the yard getting a head start on the monstrous task of cleaning out the leaves and weeds. Each year we seem to get further and further behind before we even have the chance to get started. Our back yard is filled with tall oak, pine and gum trees. You know the kind that love to drop all shapes and sizes of leaves, and leave those lovely little gum balls and pine cones that are not so easily picked up by the lawn mower? You’ve got the picture right?
My job that day was to clean all the leaves out of the flower beds. Ok, simple enough I thought. I could handle that. Did I mention that it was a windy 73 degree day? Plan plan seemed to be working at first. I’d rake the leaves into a pile and then look at the nice clean bed. I had to admire the fresh clean plot of dirt ready for blooming flowers to burst onto the scene announcing their presence in just a few short months. “I can’t wait to see the tulips come up! They are going to look so pretty in this nice clean bed!” As I bent down to put the leaves in to the bag a gust of wind blew a few leaves from somewhere else over to my freshly pamper bed. “HEY! I just cleaned that bed!” I shouted as I grabbed for the rake and added the leaves to my pile. “HA! Victory!” The rouge leaves made their way into the bag and I tied the bag shut with a knot. “Is time to conquer another bed.”
My back yard is full of flower beds and that day the wind seemed to have an uncanny way of blowing at the exact same time I had a pile of leaves ready to go into a trash bag. By the time I reached the second or third bed, I thought about how I am like one of my flower beds. You see, just like those dead leaves, I was dead in my sin. When I asked Jesus into my heart, he picked me up and cleaned off all the “dead” stuff just like I cleaned all the leaves out of flower beds. “Thank you Jesus for the way you help us to see you in practical ways.”
But wait a second, there were still some “leaves” in my life I needed to get rid of that didn’t align with his word. When we make Jesus Lord of our lives, he begins to shape and mold us into his image. This is not a process that happens overnight; it happens over a lifetime. I am thankful for the reminder of the wind blowing the leaves back into the flower beds that day. It reminded me that God is not finished with me yet. He is still shaping me and molding me into the image of His Son Jesus Christ.

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