Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fountains of Living Water: God Remove the Burrs

After having walked through a field, have you ever found burrs stuck to your clothes? You may have even attempted to pull them off of your clothes only to find that their spikes jab your fingers. While walking through the fields of this life, we are bound to get burrs stuck to us, but what do we do when the nasty little stickers attach themselves to us?

To what can burrs be likened? Unmet expectations, traumas, trials, temptations, tribulations all can be like burrs that stick to our souls, sometimes holding fast and accumulating while we are unaware.

According to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary a burr is "a rough or prickly envelope of a fruit or something that sticks or clings." Some burrs, like the cocklebur, actually contain a toxin, which according to Purdue University, when ingested by livestock can cause "gastrointestinal irritation, weakness, breathing difficulty, behavioral changes, cardiac abnormalities, [and] death."

Notice, a burr is a fruit, and fruit carry seeds. God created the "rough or prickly" exterior of a burr specifically to attach to a passing animal with the purpose of carrying the fruit, enclosing its seed, to another location where it falls to the ground; the seed then germinates, and a new plant grows up to produce more burr-covered fruit.

I don't think we want the poison of unmet expectations, traumas, trials and tribulations to stick to us, fall to the ground, germinate and grow up into the same burr-producing plant that started the cycle, potentially sticking others with its fruit.

In the spiritual realm, burrs are similar to the thistles described in the parable of the sower in fourth chapter of Mark. Verse seven says,

"Other seed [of the same kind] fell among thorn plants, and the thistles grew and pressed together and utterly choked and suffocated it, and it yielded no grain."

Not only do the thistle-like burrs cause potential physical illness and death, but they also prevent the good seed, which the Lord has sown to be choked and suffocated! It is obvious one cannot ignore these pesky little jabbers who hike a ride on us in order to propagate themselves.

Again, the question is posed- what do we do when the nasty little stickers attach themselves to us?

The first course of action is to help others get "unstuck" so to speak. Urge them, warn them, and encourage them. Help them to stand in the faith. Most of all remind them they are NOT alone. As much of a blessing it is to have a brother or sister in Christ stand with us, pray for us, there is nothing greater then the encouragement of Jesus. I can personally attest to His awesome encouragements during the darkest nights of my life.

"Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22 (Amplified Bible)

You are NOT unique in that temptation. Everyone who Loves Jesus will at some point be tempted. Jesus was tempted, and contrary to what some say, it is NOT a sin to be tempted. Temptation gives us an opportunity to show Jesus that we Love Him more than that thing satan sticks in our face. Beside that, Jesus always gives a way of escape from temptation, and sometimes we literally have to run away from that thing.

"For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently." 1 Corinthians 10:13

Have you ever felt hedged in and pressed? I certainly have, BUT be encouraged, with Jesus empowering us, we will NOT be driven to despair!

In the Amplified version, 2 Corinthians 4 says it well...

"We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair (verse 8)

Has a situation occurred in your life when you have felt like you have been pursued, been standing alone and beat up? Cry out to Jesus! We may be struck down, Beloved, but we are certainly NOT destroyed!

"We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed;" (verse 9)

Burrs may stick us, but praise Jesus the good news is that through these things are body (flesh) is put to death, so that the resurrection life of Jesus can flow through us!

"Always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our bodies." (Verse 10)

Dear Jesus, in walking through this life we are bound to come into contact with burrs. We will trust You to show us them and give us wisdom in dealing with them. No disappointment, trauma, trial or tribulation could ever separate us from your Love! We are in the palm of Your hand Lord. These unpleasantries will be turned around for our good and for Your glory by killing our flesh, which in turn will allow for the flow of Your resurrection power in our lives. Holy Spirit empower us to glory You always!!! In the awesome and great name of Jesus! AMEN!

With Much Love...

Beautiful Grace

1 comment:

Sandy@JesusandDark Choc said...

That is a great visual with the burrs! I have had plenty of burrs stuck to me over the years, I will see them in a whole new light now.:)