It’s the day after Christmas. I awoke late into the morning. Upon rising, I immediately felt a wave of anxiety rush over me.
There are presents everywhere, tissue paper strewn about, errands to be run, chores to be done, a house to be organized, technology to be updated…
These are all “first-world problems” I know. And yet, I struggle daily with balancing these very first world problems with my seeking of God’s Kingdom.
. . .
I made my way downstairs, prepared some coffee, took everything off the kitchen table and just put it anywhere but there.
The kitchen table has become my sacred space for quiet times. It’s not in my office where my to do lists and tasks sit before me, beckoning to distract me from time with God. And today, I looked forward to a fresh start of a new beginning of a new She Reads Truth study on the life of Moses.
Headphones on. World turned down. Truth in.
. . .
And as this first day of my new study came to a close, I took a couple of boxes outside to our back patio. And that’s when I looked up to see our lemon tree.
Clay gave me a sweet little lemon tree as a wedding gift–one of a few–about a year and a half ago.
When we got back from our honeymoon, we did some serious de-weeding of our little planter, planted that tree, and since have had to do some serious de-weeding.
And it has taken so long for fruit to actually grow! That was a surprise to me. It was literally a year before we ever saw growth of fruit on that tree. And only a couple of months ago were we able to actually pick a piece of fruit, to enjoy one of those lemons.
. . .
Sometimes I feel like life is like this.
We plant ourselves in God’s soil. And we wait. And we wait. And we wait. And we don’t really see much fruit. And then finally it comes. And then when it does, we enjoy it, others enjoy it, God enjoys it…
And yet the fruit is still covered in dirt.
. . .
As I looked up at that tree today and saw that there was a very ripe lemon that needed to be picked, I did so. And I noticed it was covered in dirt.
It wasn’t this perfect little lemon; It was in great need of being washed.
Oh, how I long to be washed by the Living Water, that the fruit of my soul, of my spirit, would be cleansed and more beautiful and ready to be cut into and enjoyed.
. . .
God has been and continues to do work in my life. I see the fruit growing. And yet I am still in need of washing. Of cleansing.
I do a great job of studying my Bible, of writing on God’s Word; and yet, how great of a job am I doing at actually living it out?
My fruit could use a good washing. A serious rinsing.
My heart could stand to go through the waters to be cleansed.
. . .
And so when I walk by that lemon tree each day, my hope and my prayer is that I would not only see fruit in my life, but that I would truly embody each fruit of the Spirit. That God would cleanse me of impurities, brighten me up to be used for His Kingdom purposes, wash me of any dirt of self that I may shine more of Him.
This verse we put on our Christmas card this year pretty accurately describes that which God has done and that which I long for Him to continue to do in and through me.
But when the kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having to hope of eternal life. – Titus 3:4-7
I’m still in need of washing. I am a constant work-in-progress. Thankfully, by His great mercy, He’s not finished with me yet.