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Monday, 24 April 2017

The Tree of Life

Today I want to stop to tell you about a vision I had years ago. I was still at varsity, studying, with the world at my feet and a blank canvas to paint the story of my life on. One night, at one of our student Christian meetings, I had a  clear vision that I can still recall vividly today.
I saw myself approaching a huge tree. The tree was very impressive, but I could not focus on the tree, as I had to concentrate so hard on avoiding stumbling over the labyrinth of roots extending out from it. The roots were a tangled mess, weaving in and out of the ground and crisscrossing each other randomly. When still a distance away from the tree, I was already forced to find a way to navigate the intricate root system that lay between myself and the tree.
At first, having to deal with smaller and thinner roots, I could easily walk over the roots, without tripping and falling. As the roots got larger and thicker, this was not so easily done. I had to search very carefully for a place to set my foot where it would not get ensnared by the roots. Sometimes, actually quite often, I was forced to step on the roots, rather than over them.
At last the roots became so thick that it became almost impossible to avoid stepping on them. They were simply too high and the open spaces between them too small. I completely gave up trying to avoid them and decided to rather try to balance myself on the roots. As soon as I did this, things started going better for me. By now the roots were so large and thick that balancing on top of them was a breeze. My journey towards the tree sped up considerably and I effortlessly reached it in next to no time.
As soon as I reached the tree, the vision started to make sense. I suddenly realized that the tree represented God and that all this time I was trying to approach Him. While I was carefully navigating the intricate root system, trying my best to find my own way, I was missing the easy route into God's presence. It was only when I finally gave up trying to pave my own way, that the journey became effortless. It was when I rested my whole weight upon God and followed the roots He had laid down for me, that I found myself in His presence, having no trouble getting there.
Looking back on my life, I realize that this is very much the way things had worked out for me. God has always been a central figure in my life and His presence there undeniable. Yet, being a healthy, talented and strong-willed individual, I wanted to create my own success. I was raised in a competitive house and I was used to the taste and reward of success. I used to believe that success tastes best when it is well deserved and earned. I no longer think so.
I have learned that no success is worth tasting if it is outside of God's will. I am not talking about sin here. I am simply talking about living a life fully committed to God, versus one where you still want to exercise control over the outcome. I have always been moving towards God. It was simply that I tried to avoid resting my whole weight upon Him. It wasn't necessary; I could do things for myself. Oh. how much easier this walk with God is now that I have learned to let go of my own ideas and ideals! These days I rest in Him. On Him. My whole weight is upon Him. I trust Him for everything. When I find Him sending me on my way, I simply pack up and go. I don't count the cost anymore. I trust God.
This is the story of my journey. It may differ from yours, but I want you to stop and contemplate this for a moment. Let me leave you with a thought from the Bible, that very accurately sums this up for me:
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."
These words have also been turned into a song and I have taken liberty to copy the link to a version of it that I found on the internet. Enjoy this with me.
Trust in the Lord

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
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