the act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight.An experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present, often under the influence of a divine or other agency: a heavenly messenger appearing in a vision.
It’s Tuesday again, and you know what that means… today is Truth Be Told Tuesday. Thanks for checking in.
The desert, a loving couple, and bananas.
What do these things have to do with each other you ask? What do they have in common?
They have absolutely nothing and everything to do with each other.
This past Sunday, as I began watching “Lawrence of Arabia”, starring Peter O’Toole, for yet another time, I was reminded once again of the treacherous hot sand and the even hotter sun that lives in the desert.
In the end, the desert is a poor host. And so the story goes, as T.E. Lawrence and his new found Arab friends crossed the desert, traveling by night to escape the inescapable daytime heat of the sun, one man fell of his camel and was left for dead, but left for dead he was not.
As the others traveled to their destination where the water was plentiful, a destination that needed to be reached before sunrise, Lawrence returned to rescue the man that was left for dead, risking his own death in the process. After Lawrence saved the man, and returned to camp a day later, he returned to a hero’s welcome.
Neither man was ever to be the same.
This past Sunday, in the second row of church, I couldn’t help but notice a young couple, most likely in their mid to late twenties, and their 6-8 month old son.
As I sat a few rows behind them they caught my attention because as the young father lifted his son out of child’s car seat with complete pride, praise and lack of poise I was touched by their innocence; mom, dad, and child.
They looked like they could’ve been high school sweethearts at one time, high school sweethearts that talked about this very moment many times late into the night on the phone.
They were, and still are in love. And as the father gently picked up his only child,
his son, the embrace was precious, prideful and with purpose. And as fate would have it, after the baby dropped his Binky and then a set of keys, the mother laughed at her helpless husband as she put her arm around him, whispering; “I really love you.”
This past Sunday my pastor shared with the congregation about the importance of bearing fruit while here on this earth. He showed us a group of bruised bananas and a group of fresh bananas. The point being that some people produce poor fruit, while others produce fruit in their life that is attractive to others.
He went on to say the 5 secrets of life are to bear fruit, abide, obey, know, and love. Each could be written about over the course of a month full of Tuesdays.
As I mentioned in the beginning, on the surface and apart from each other, each of these stories have little, if any connection. But as we allow our self to peer a little deeper we can see the common thread that is God and the helping hand of others in each of them.
All of us have been in the desert.
Whether we skydived into the hot valley of sand or we were dropped off there against our will, all of us have had our faced scorched, and lips blistered, by the intense sun and heat that one experiences in the dry desert of life.
And in each instance God has placed at least one person there with us as agent of hope and with the ability to rescue us.
Ultimately, God provides the hope, organizes the rescue and release, and answer’s our prayer, but He often enlists a willful participant to be part of the process. I believe in God, and for others that are reading this and hold the same belief understand what I’m saying.
God will answer our prayer in the valley and when were on the mountaintop.
He may not answer our prayer how we want it to be answered or in the time we want it to be answered, but He will answer our call; our plea, and it will be exactly want we need, not what we always want. (Psalm 6:9)
I also believe in each desert experience, if we look closely, we will see another person battling the sun, fighting the sand storm to rescue us. They stand in the gap on our behalf.
I believe it’s a good rule of thumb to remember that God put that other person there.
He put them there to physically hold our hand, to pray for and with us and to encourage us with their unfailing support. Writing this reconfirms to me that there is always hope in the desert, hope that is provided by God and by others.
And just like the loving couple that shared a tender touch of satisfaction and expressed their love with words of complete joy, like the desert dweller, their hope too is in God, their hope is in each other. And at this very moment, as this loving couple is on the mountain top of life starring into each others eyes, there will come a time when the hot sand of the desert will burn their feet.
And at that time, if their trust remains in God first, their faith will be increased as God shows himself in the midst of the storm.
Their faith will increase in each other because God has placed them in each others lives to aid in rescuing each other, and reassuring each other that they will always turn around and return to where the other one became lost in the desert, no matter if anyone else will.
They will do it because they Love each other. They have the kind of love that is byproduct of good fruit; good fruit that has manifested in their lives for everyone to see.
In the end, good fruit can only be developed by abiding in Jesus Christ, and to abide in God we first have to come to terms with obeying Him; knowing Him. Once we do that we will come to love Him for what He as done, and will do, in our lives.
We come to love the mere mention of His name because we know Him to forever keep His promise to us and to provide peace for our hearts.
It is when we experience this type love and devotion that we have the best opportunity to share with others fruit that is fresh. The world will see the beauty of the fruit and be attracted to it.
And once again we will not accomplish this on our own because God will place in our lives great examples of a fruit filled life; agents of hope and encouragement, a strong and supportive hand of another that will carry on with us through the storm.
Whether it’s “good” fruit, the loving touch of a spouse, or surviving the desert, God’s hand, His grace and mercy, His love will always be constant and present, and in plain view for all that wish to see.
In most instances, if not in every single one, He will place someone right beside us to aid us, to encourage us and be that perfect example of what the fruit of God’s love looks like.
In the desert, within the embrace of loved ones, and in the bearing of good fruit, God is there, He is always there… just look.
That is my “Truth Be Told” for July 2, 2013 (tbtt . #12)
sbb . 1261
Word Of God Speak . MercyMe