In the wake of supreme court decisions Christ followers have some questions to ponder.
A Tale of Two Vines
Do you remember my blog post in April, Ten Signs of Spring in our Home? I shared my simple love of watching things grow from seed to flower. I don’t have a lot of time in my garden, but I do enjoy putzing around and nurturing the emerging growth. And yes, I have been known to whisper to my little seedlings, “Here’s a little extra drink of water to help you grow.” I enjoy unearthing a spot in the ground to cradle my seedlings. Daily, I nip and tuck the growing vine around our fence. Each morning, I sit at our outdoor table, sip my coffee, and enjoy the flourishing vine and blooming flowers. Each evening, I reflect on the day while watching the blooms buckle down for the night.
That is until one evening.
I noticed one of my vines was wilting. I gave it a quick drink of water and quickly realized the water was pouring into a well-formed tunnel. At that moment, I spied a little demon, roly-poly gopher. I looked down at the base of the vine. The vine was severed from the root by sharp, unforgiving gopher teeth.
My heart sank. All my hard work for naught. I stood speechless until my anger flushed in my cheeks… why?” Severed from the roots, all I could do was watch my vine die. My husband could see how distraught I was and offered to remove the plant, so I didn’t have to see it wither.
I reluctantly said, “No, I can do it.” But then I sensed in my heart, God was doing something in me. I left the plant where it was. I sat and watched the leaves curl and dry. The blooms would not open another day. The sadness I was feeling went beyond the loss of a plant.
The following morning, I sat sipping my coffee in front of two of my vines, one connected to the root, and the other one that had been severed the day before. I pondered my sadness further as I sought the Lord for answers. I readied my paper and pencil to record the lesson. Nothing.
Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4,… nothing.
Day 5, in my silence the Lord brought to memory the story of Jonah. I remembered the end of the book described a plant that withered. I opened my Bible and read all four chapters.
As I read Jonah’s story, it became apparent to me Jonah’s story is a story of a believer’s life, a believer who neglected the two greatest commandments in trade for his personal comfort.
After all, Jonah believed in God, but it was a mushy belief, and mushy beliefs lead to mushy obedience. When God asked Jonah to go and deliver His invitation to a people in need of repentance, his passion for God waned. He did a complete turnaround and ran away from what God wanted him to do. So why did Jonah finally obey? Jonah’s obedience only came when his personal belly-in-a-whale habitat became intolerable. I believe it was day three before he couldn’t stand it anymore. I also found Jonah at the end of his story, once again mourning the loss of his own comfort. This time it was a shady plant that withered and exposed Jonah to the sting of the sun rays. There was no compassion for a people who almost died in their self-damaging choices. It was all about Jonah crying-in-his-cornflakes because of the lack of shade. Jonah had no clue he missed an opportunity to chose to live out the two greatest commandments: to love God and love others. Jonah couldn’t see; he was the withering plant.
As a mom, in some ways, I’m like Jonah. Sometimes my world becomes too small. I long for comfort and a moment when I am not fighting against the prevailing winds of change that occur when society deviates from the laws of God. “What’s the use?” I ask. The ‘decision’ (whatever the new decision of the day happens to be) has been made.” I bemoan the fact that all of it makes my job harder and messes up my personal comfort. In those moments, I, too am the withering plant separated from the roots.
The following morning, I gave my attention to the vine connected to the roots. It was beautiful. It flourished in the sun and invited me to admire its beautiful blooms and deep green leaves. I thought again about Jonah’s story. What would his story look like if he followed the two greatest commandments to love God and love others?
I imagined for a moment.
Maybe he would have first wept and prayed that the city would be delivered. Maybe, he would have trusted that God heard his prayer. It’s possible he would have immediately set off for Nineveh and delivered God’s message and invitation to repent. I imagine his words would be filled with compassion and urgency. And I think Jonah would have waited in hope and trusted His merciful God for the final answer. There would be no mention of inconvenience, hate, or annoyance. His passion for God and the people He created would flow from root to vine. It’s something worth protecting.
My thoughts turned to protecting the remaining flourishing vines.
I discovered love means defending and protecting the growing vine from roly-poly gophers that seek to sever plant from roots. I applied my DIY gopher repellant.
My DIY Gopher Repellant
1 gallon of water
2 eggs beaten
2 Tbs. garlic powder
2 Tbs. cayenne pepper
Spray the plants, every couple of weeks and reapply after rainstorms
Fast forward two weeks.
In a very short period of time, without a vote from the people, a roly-poly government gopher severed many vines.
June 26, 2015 (Marriage) Supreme Court Orders States to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage
June 30,2015 ( Parent’s Rights) California governor signs strict law requiring vaccinations for most kids
July 2, 2015 (God Authored Law) Oklahoma Supreme Court Removes the Ten Commandments
I watched and wept as the next chapter of American History unfolded.
I thought of Jonah’s story. I thought of the two vines. I thought of the two greatest commandments. I thought of my response. I thought of my fellow believer’s responses. I thought of the church’s response. I thought of the next generation.
I thought of the questions we must ask ourselves as Christ followers:
Do we love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength enough to do his bidding to deliver an unpopular message?
Which way will our heart break? Will it break because our comfort is lost or… will it break because the lost are not comforted by God’s love, grace, and truth?
Love means defending and protecting hearts from roly-poly ideology that seek to sever the seeker and the believer from a relationship with our heavenly Father, a relationship that brings healing and freedom.
God’s DIY Remedy is in order. It is our only hope.
God’s DIY Remedy
Directions: Apply to the root of your heart, your children’s heart, and those who have not heard the message of God’s invitation:
God’s Word… learn, understand, and know His truth.
Obedience… do His bidding. Obey when it is not convenient.
Love… sacrifice your comfort. Love while being hated or misunderstood.
Grace… understand we all don’t measure up.
Prayer…ask for forgiveness and mercy for ourselves, our church, and our neighbors.
Repeat often and especially after political storms.
Jonah saw a society of wayward people. God saw the hearts of the people who needed His message of truth. May we not see the nation but the individual hurting heart and apply God’s DIY Remedy with vigilance and teach our children to do the same.
Hundreds at Health Freedom Rallies Demand Parent’s Rights, Repeal of New Vaccine Mandates
Parents Deserve to Have a Choice About Vaccination
Oklahoma Supreme Court Orders Removal of The Ten Commandments Monument
From Our Home to Yours,