I have been wrestling with God a lot and I just realized something. You know when you are trying to change a baby's diaper and they won't stop squirming? "Child, I'm trying to help you" but the child wants to do what the child wants to do.
Ok, not the best analogy but all my life, I've been scraping by with "just enough". Way more than enough to be grateful for but never really enough to be able to bless other people beyond their wildess dreams. As a child, we went back to school shopping at Goodwill, my choice. I have always been very frugal, I didn't want my "wants" for cool clothes to come in the way of my parents bills. I had no clue how much they made a year, we had a nice house, but for some reason, I don't think I deserved it. Why? I have no clue.
I've always been very self-sufficient. I never want anyone else's help, I never want to bother someone else with my problems or my desires.... including God.
Now, I titled this blog "The Fruit Tree" because I am realizing that is what we are, that is what God made us. We are planted once, when we are small, things are more of a challenge and we hardly bear any fruit at all. It almost seems like the harder we work to grow, the less fruit we bear. I am 28 years old, and this is what I have felt like my whole life. I have felt like I will never get ahead... that's because I have been being pruned : A very good thing, but it sure looks ugly, doesn't feel very good and results are never immediate.
Don't get my wrong, I am blessed beyond words. I have 4 perfect,beautiful, healthy children, an amazing husband, a nice warm house, food in the pantry but never enough to be able to take the woman with two kids off the street and give them a place to live. Never enough to send my 62 year old mother who works 50 hours a week on a cruise with her sister.
Being a parent has taught me so much about God. If my children were sitting on the floor in the pantry eating a bowl of rice, completely content and very grateful they had food, but I had an entire Thanksgiving feast for them in the beautiful dining room; I would want more than anything for them to come partake. But they said "No mom, we are grateful for our rice and this floor to sit on so we don't have to sit in the dirt. Thank you so much mom for this rice." Seriously, what parent wants that for their child and I feel like so many of us feel like that with God. The feast is there, HE made it for YOU. And just because you partake, doesn't mean everyone else can't. There is more than enough for everyone, why do I limit God?
Back to the fruit tree analogy, starting out, it's been rough for us. We lived with 2 children on my parents property for about 2 years, paying rent only a couple of times. My parents were barely scraping by but still wanting to help us. Redneck was working about 60 hours a week and things just weren't clicking. We cried a lot during that time. My parents ended up foreclosing and we went to go live with Redneck's mom and step dad about the same time Redneck decided to start his own programming business. I was pregnant with Luella at the time and we moved into the upstairs bedroom that had a bathroom and a small attached nursery room. It was 400 sq ft for (soon to be) 5 people. Luckily, I have amazing in-laws. They were so generous to let us live there and to make matters better, Redneck' mom and I get along great, we are both very creative. I ended up delivering Luella in their bathtub. We lived there for a year and then bought our current house. Now we have 6 people in 920 sq feet. I love this house and Rednecks business is doing great; but for some reason, we feel like we are about to get kicked down again.
What we need to realize is we are a bigger, stronger tree now and the storm has passed. We grew during the storm and now we are producing fruit, just the way God wants us to. He wants us to thrive, get better, grow bigger and bear more fruit. We are a perennial, not an annual. He designed us to stick around, not have to get re-planted every year and start all over again.
I know in this recession, a lot of people are going through the storm but it will pass. God wants us to bear fruit. I was raised in the "God wants you to be a millionaire" church then my parents started going to a "God wants you to have nothing and die to yourself" church. Why is everything so extreme? Of course God wants us to succeed. He called us to help the needy. How in the world are we suppose to follow HIS commandments if we are convinced that God will only ration us "just enough" for ourselves.
People help people. Money does not help people. A family puts aside $10,000 to take a needy family in and help them get on their feet, nurture them, love them, make them sure that they are equals. Give that needy family $10,000 and no people and they just feel like a charity case. They don't feel like they are worth more because of the money, they feel like they are worth more because of the people, because of the love. The best way to help the needy is not be needy yourself. God wants us as fruit trees to flourish, to feed others and to use our seeds to plant others. The bigger we get, the more we feed.
Trees : Grow as big as you can, produce as much fruit as possible, prune often and share your seeds.
Be used by God.