Monday, March 5, 2012
Just some thoughts from a broken tree branch…
You know that branch that God gave to Moses in Exodus 15:25? Some translations say “a tree” some say “a stick” for the sake of argument lets call it a branch, because it doesn’t say that Moses dug up the tree and threw it in…or that he cut off a branch and… so a tree or a stick… it was a branch already for Moses to just pick up.
So where did it come from? It came from a tree near by, right? I doubt that God told this branch what He was going to do; it wasn’t just growing there waiting to be used by God, to make the bitter waters sweet. But there was this TREE near by that he used to be growing from. I bet Moses and all the children probably walked right by that tree. If I were Moses crying out to God, I would probably have leaned against this tree, looking to it for support, shade, comfort. But what about that branch laying just over there, the branch that had been broken off, by high winds or maybe a big fat bird sat on it before it could support it’s weight. It was just lying on the ground, detached drying out and dying. I bet it was laying there thinking “What did I do wrong? Why was I broken off from my life support, just to lay here and die? Great, now here comes this very large group of people. I bet they’re all going to look at my tree…the one I am no longer apart of, and marvel at how big it is, how beautiful it is. Look at them enjoying the shade from that tree…great now their eating the fruit. I was going to grow some fruit, it just didn’t grow yet, and I didn’t have time. Why was I broken off before I could be used to shade these children and provide fruit for them? What are they saying? They don’t look happy. They sure are giving that guy a hard time. Of course, now look at him, he’s praying and leaning against my old tree for support and I can’t be there. I’m just laying here, not useful for anything. I guess I deserve to just dry up and die. Forgive me…wait, what now? He’s looking at me? Why? As an example of what could happen to them if they don’t obey? Look out you too can fall off and dry up and…great, now he’s picking me up. Wait, he needs me? I’m not big enough to make a fire with. What a way to go, but at least I would be useful for something, even in my death. I don’t see any other branches like me lying around here; it won’t be much of a fire…sorry. I really wish now that I had grown bigger, fatter. Then I could really make a fire, oh what a fire I would have made. Wait, he’s taking me to that pool of water…doesn’t he know that the water is bad. It’s bitter; it’s no good for anything. Even my tree knew that, we kept our roots away from that bad water. Oh great, he threw me in the water. Now I’m going to drown. Now I won’t be any good for even a small fire. I will just be soaked with bitter water…completely worthless. Hey, why’s he smiling? Is he happy about my misery? He’s going to drink the water. I wouldn’t do that!!! It what? It tastes sweet? How can that be? I made the bitter water sweet? God used ME to turn their bitter water sweet? Yes, He did use me… I had to be broken off from my tree, to be ready for God to use me, to make their bitter water sweet, to refresh His children. My pain was their gain, their blessing. Thank You, Father for using me, forgive me for not understanding or realizing that You were in control all along, even when I didn’t see.”
Have you ever felt like that branch? Broken off from your tree for reason beyond your understanding? Ever feel like you don’t trust Him that He has just left you to die on the ground, broken off, drying up, and a branch…good for nothing? God always has a plan even for a branch like you.
Know for another thought. What happened to that branch that was now lying in the water? Scripture doesn’t tell us but lets just imagine, knowing that God never does anything with out a plan…a plan to bless. That branch could have just sunk to the bottom of the lake and become apart of the natural process and if that is what happened then that would still be wonderful because that means the branch served its purpose. But what if, just what if after the children took their focus off of that branch and it laid there in the water watching them be satisfied and blessed, it also drank up the water…bringing life back into it’s drying brittle “bones” so to speak. Sparking new life as the blessed, once bitter water, but now sweet, flowed through it’s branch, through its blood…what is that at the end of the branch? Is it a new bud? Is that new life, growing from that “thought to be dead” branch? What’s going on under the water? Could that be a root growing down to the lakebed? Searching out a new location to grow…from the lake, to begin a new life, to become a TREE of it’s own. No longer just a branch growing from a tree, but a tree itself. How wonderful. This is just a thought, from a broken branch used by God, to make bitter waters sweet.
Exodus 15:22-25 (MSG)
22-24 Moses led Israel from the Red Sea on to the Wilderness of Shur. They traveled for three days through the wilderness without finding any water. They got to Marah, but they couldn't drink the water at Marah; it was bitter. That's why they called the place Marah (Bitter). And the people complained to Moses, "So what are we supposed to drink?"25 So Moses cried out in prayer to God. God pointed him to a stick of wood. Moses threw it into the water and the water turned sweet.