A Thankful Tribute

“Peace, Peace to him who is far off and to him who is near! Says the Lord; I create the fruit of his lips, and I will heal him [make his lips blossom anew with speech in thankful praise]”   Isaiah 57:19

As I traveled up a winding road I have traveled many times before, I had one thing on my mind, the old apple tree at the top of the hill.  When I arrived at the top, I was disappointed to find a barren and withered tree.  Then I remembered that back in the spring, I had not seen the blooms of a fruit tree. Blossoms on an apple tree are a picture of the fruit to come.  The blossoms in the spring give us a glimpse of the fruit that the tree will produce in the fall.

We can learn so much about our lives when we look at the apple tree.  God say’s we are the apples of His eye. Once we are a tree, He prunes, waters, and watches us as we blossom and bring forth fruit in due season.

On another day, I traveled up the same winding road and I saw two “trees” standing on the hill.  As I got closer to these two “trees”, I saw beautiful blossoms.   These two “trees” were a husband and wife around eighty years old, whose life reflected the fullness of the Lord. From their lips came words of thankful praise, their heart was full of joy as they rejoiced in God’s goodness that day.  The words that came from their lips revealed a thankful heart.  Even in the midst of troubling times, they were truly grateful for God’s blessings in their life.  Their spirit was strong, even though they had weathered many storms.  Their braches were low with fruitful words you could take home. As I left that day, my basket was full with more fresh fruit than ever before. I had been with two people whose lives truly produced the fruit of the Lord.

God Uses Broken Things

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17

GodWe can look at Scripture and be assured that God uses all things, even the broken pieces of our lives.  He will carefully hold each piece in His hand until just the right time, and then He uses it for good to help someone else.  After we have been healed of painful hurts and then repent for our own sinful responses, our testimony of God’s redemption is complete.

Before repentance, we tend to blame others or live in denial, thinking we do not have any problems.  It’s as if we have pure water flowing from our lips and they have muddy water coming from theirs.  After being healed we can begin to see our sinful responses and how they have hurt the one who hurt us, as well as others around us over whom we have influence.  It is during the process of repentance that our pride is broken and we can clearly see our own sin.

It was not until Jacob’s natural strength was broken, when “his hip was wrenched” (Gen. 32:25) at Peniel, that he came to the point where God anointed him with spiritual strength.

Once the poor and humble widow broke the seal on her only remaining jar of oil and began to pour, God miraculously multiplied the oil to pay her debts and thereby supplied her means of support (2 Kings 4:1-7).  All her needs were met because God used what had been broken.

Once Jesus took “the five loaves…and broke them” (Luke 9:16), the bread was multiplied to feed the five thousand.  It was through the very process of the loaves being broken that the miracle occurred.

Once Mary broke her beautiful “alabaster jar of very expensive perfume” (Matt. 26:7), the true value was revealed.  God uses broken things. Humbly take every broken piece of your life and give it the Lord.  Don’t try to glue it, fake it or fix it; simply release it.

Now, trust in Him to pass His hand over every broken piece of your life and use every piece.  Trust and wait on Him to turn all things around and use them for your good.  Stay humble before the Lord and He will lift you up.

Written by Denise Boggs