"I will put in the wilderness the cedar...."
When will people see more than “just a little girl”, more than someone that stands shorter than them, or someone that doesn’t look her age… when?! I sat in my quiet office today asking the Lord these questions; my heart aching at the reality that is my life. Most often when I meet new people I pretend that they don’t notice my stature. That maybe they are thinking “I want to be her best friend” or maybe “I like her fashion sense.” However, today I was hit with the harsh truth that sometimes people do see my height first and wonder “why?” Just writing that question sends a jolt of pain to a bruised spot in my heart. I sat in my office, my emotions feeling the same color as the blue walls that seemed to be closing in on me, and I asked the Lord those questions. His response, as always is never what I predict. He said in my spirit, “When will you see more than just the earthly, the circumstances, and the lack? When will you see through my eyes, Betsy? When will you see the real question?”
“Lord, no offense but that’s not my question. This is about other people… not me. This is about what they see!” His sweet persistent voice filled my heart, speaking the words I didn’t want to hear “No, this is about you, this is about what you see. I want you to see through my eyes Betsy not yours. Don’t worry about them, focus on your own vision, on what you see.” As I sat pondering these words, my mind went back to a lunch conversation I had with a precious wise friend. She said to me “if the offended question points back to Jesus isn’t it for a greater purpose, the very purpose of life.” That they may SEE and know that the hand of the Lord has done this.
“I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia the myrtle and the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
This world is broken and the desert is real. Sin rules this world and with that comes sickness, death, brokenness, and sorrow. Yet, in the midst of the desert the Lord says He will provide shade and a sweet smelling aroma. Only the Creator God, if He wills, can grow a tree in the desert. A tree that points a finger back to the Holy One of Israel. A tree that stands tall, sends out an aroma of sweetness, and provides shade. If I saw a tree standing in the midst of the desert I think I would ask why. Not out of offense to its Creator but out of curiosity. A tree shouldn’t live in the parched dry land but if God plants it the tree will live. God makes dead things come alive and takes the stench of sin and cleanses it with the aroma of His son’s blood. He takes the deserts of life and plants His people in the midst of it. "He makes the barren places fruitful" (Guzik). Our pain, our brokenness, and our lack when placed in the Gardener's hands can be the very shade a weary broken traveler needs. It can be the very aroma that draws someone sick of the stench of sin. It can be the very life giving fruit that fills the empty.
Through the world's eyes you and I shouldn’t have joy or sweetness in our desert but we do. Why? Because the Holy One of Israel. It’s as odd to a bitter hurting soul as seeing a tree flourish in the desert. May they ask… may they always ask because I finally SEE that they will never know the fruit born out of the barren land if they never ask. He has filled me with the fruit of His word, given me shade, spread His sweet aroma over the stench of pain, and brought color to the blandest of days. Sweet friends, the Holy One has a purpose in the painful questions and the barren places. “They will SEE and know that the hand of the Lord has done this." His sweet aroma, His shade, and the height of His love provided fruit in the most barren of places and that my friends is not of this world... The HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL DOES THAT!
He's BIG and I'm little