Mulberry trees and mountains – Faith that restores the broken

My scripture meditations recently lead me to share something a little more personal and close to home.

Matthew 13:31-32

Another parable he put forth to them saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in His field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

 

Matthew 17:20

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

 

Luke 17:6

So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

 

A few years ago my life crumbled before my eyes and I was crushed.

My marriage of 10 years, the life that I had built was over, I lost my home and most of my possessions. I left with only what I brought with me and furniture I found in the garbage.

I found myself sitting in a counselling office with a pastor at Peoples Church and my soon to be ex-husband talking about the drift that had so slowly separated us. I was also acutely aware of the drift that had formed between Jesus and I.

When the pastor asked him if he would put an effort into taking intentional steps to have a relationship with Jesus and come to church, if it would mend our broken marriage because it mattered to me, his response was like a cold knife in my heart, a slap in the face, and a bucket of freezing water dumped on my spirit. His exact words don’t matter, but what I heard was “you are not worth fighting for.” In that moment, everything fell away. The foundation I had built crumbled beneath me; my walls cracked and crumbled but I felt Jesus saying “I died for you and I would do it again. I fight for you and pray for you every day and I will give you something new if you let me.”

So, I let Jesus do open heart surgery on me.

God saw fit in His mercy and grace to make a way for me out of that dark place. He literally flung open the door for me.

Here’s some of what He did for me:

  • provided an apartment in 9 days during a housing shortage in Toronto
  • helped restore my health by losing 90lbs in the first year
  • enabled me to be debt free for the first time in over 10 years, and
  • I was able to reconnect with my sister by visiting her and the rest of the family in Australia.

The list of miracles could go on and on.

 

Please understand that I’m not encouraging divorce or saying that God rewards or blesses sin.

God loves an obedient heart and rewards and blesses obedience.

James 1:25 ~ But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it-they will be blessed in what they do.

Divorce is something that breaks God’s heart because it breaks the people it touches. It is a decision that is between the individuals and God.

Matthew 19:6 ~ What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

I don’t wish divorce on anyone. It is one of the most painful things I believe can ever happen to someone in this life.

I believe God wants what is best for us and that includes blessings, joy, and being fulfilled in our purpose here on earth. It can also include times of hardship, pain, and pressure. We cannot receive if our hands are closed, clenched tightly around the rubbish the world offers. Sometimes the lives we have built need to be stripped away before we can receive the blessings God knows we need.

In that season of ripping away and tearing down, Jesus never left my side. There were times when I was too scared to move. I was blessed with the support, love, and guidance of my parents. Jesus carried me in the beginning as I did not know how to walk.

I cried every day for 9 months after the decision was made. Every tear washed away a little more pain. I poured myself into scripture and worship. The divorce care course at Peoples Church was an instrument of healing. Through small groups, God has given me strong Godly friendships that have spurred me on to obey the Lord’s leading.

He has rebuilt me and He is my firm foundation. He helped my unbelief and uprooted wrong ways of thinking and negative attitudes. He not only helped me rebuild my life physically and emotionally, He rebuilt me spiritually and moved mountains for me in so many ways. In His great love for me, He allowed me to break so He could rebuild. It has all been for my good and His glory. Through the breaking down of my own crooked building, my seed of faith that had been buried all those years could finally stretch toward the light.

At the beginning in that counseling room, my faith was no bigger than a mustard seed – the least of all the seeds. It was the beginning of an end, so there could be a new beginning.

My faith has grown and I now walk with Jesus. If I may paraphrase one of my favourite spirit-filled authors. I have in no way arrived at perfection in Christ, but daily with joy “I press toward the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. Philippians 3:14

 

Father I give you all the honour, glory, and praise. Thank you for letting me be broken for your good work. Amen.

TLC

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