Originally published Tuesday, 24 February 2015.
When I walked through the front door of the house I looked around in awe. Just being able to stand where they stood, and gaze at the furniture where they sat, had me blurry-eyed with hot tears. I could only imagine the conversation, grief, and laughter that must have taken place there. I looked around at the portraits of their family and listened carefully to how each person connected. And then I walked outside.
There’s just something about a tree that makes me almost jealous. Maybe it’s the way its roots force deep down into the ground spreading out, taking ownership. Perhaps it’s the way it stands tall and stubborn presiding over everything. Even after the dead of winter new buds bloom proving its unwillingness to succumb to challenge.
As I strolled the garden I looked at the tall tree hovering – the one their son John Quincy planted. After all these years it reigns glorious, almost as if it’s standing guard over the precious memories of Peace Field. I think about how that tree must have been privy to political discussions helping to guide the young nation, all of the children that must have run around it playing games of tag and hide-and-seek, and the tenderness it must have shared of secret moments filled with kisses, private pain, and words meant for only two hearts.
And then the Lover of my soul reminds me of an even greater tree. One with a story far better than any other tree ever had, or ever will have.
I’ve never walked where Jesus walked. And with the present state of the world, I’m not sure I ever will. But I have a Book that speaks truth. And it tells me of another tree that aided in the saving of my soul.
Now, I don’t know the back story of that tree – who it watched or fed or held on a branch. I don’t know who came to chop it down or how it ended up to be chosen in death to be a gateway for life. But I do know this: The King of Kings carried it, He was nailed to it, and He proved that love will always live and never die because He Himself already suffered and died on it. And when He rose again, He not only saved every person, who chooses to accept Him, from death, but He also proved that each Living thing created by God holds a purpose. Even a tree destined to be chopped down.
Sometimes we feel void of having any purpose at all. We feel as if there is no rescue from the sorrow that plagues us because we’ve already been “chopped down” and feel empty inside. But God…
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Look at what happened to Joseph of the old testament as he was hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, imprisoned, and abandoned. Those words in Genesis 50:20 were his as he assured his brothers he would not seek revenge. He held tight to his purpose, knowing it was bigger than he ever imagined, and came from a God who deserved glory regardless of his own pain.
Friend, today, I want to tell you that you have a purpose. I feel strongly that you need to hear this. You are loved, you were created for more than you can imagine. You. Have. A. Purpose. So fulfill your ministry. The apostle Paul tells us those words in 2 Timothy.
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
-2 Timothy 4:5
We will all face afflictions. Not one of us is exempt. However, in the middle of it all, we have a purpose. We are to keep marching onward fulfilling the purpose He’s given. It’s a gift. It won’t be free of tears, fear, or pain. But joy will come. The other day, I shared the following scripture. It’s so full of hope that I have to share it again.
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
Be blessed, dear friend.
My eBook, Mercy Waits, is FREE to subscribers!
To inquire about booking me to speak at an event, click here.