Category: Nature

I’ve heard that Christians can measure their growth by the fruit in their lives. Galatians says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV). It makes sense that, if we’re keeping in step with the Spirit, that is, turning away from the desires of the flesh to follow the Spirit, we would find evidence of it. What we call “fruit.”

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The beauty of the rose,
is in it thorns; that pierce
and prick, those
unaware. Stifling
jubilant eyes, resting
upon petals, bearing
silken shades; to
God’s glory. Soil
shields, light streams,
waters feed-
This boastful beauty,
“Look at me!”

What we might consider a nuisance upon grasping a rose, the thorns, are there to protect the flowers from being eaten and damaged by predators. Therefore, without the thorns, we might never see the beautiful flower, the rose, in all of its splendor.

One of the hardest facts to wrap our heads around about God is that nothing happens without Him. Isaiah tells us “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7 NIV). However, we like to compartmentalize things. We see hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters and we place them over here in their own category. War, famine, starvation, and disease are put into their own category. We take everything that we think is “evil” and we assign it to the Devil and everything that is good we assign to God.

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If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

1 John 1:6 (NIV)

It was 1993 and I was in the Czech Republic seeing things that no one I had ever known could have seen. I was in a little town called Olomouc, around 2:00 AM, and I was lost and alone. It would be many years until my first encounter with the Lord so I was knee-deep in the world and loving it.

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