"Jerusalem" First

Projecting into the future can feel like this picture. It teases you with its color and brightness, but frustrates or intrigues you with its lack of clarity. It's blurry, but so blurry that one must assume it was taken in such a way purposefully, as though to emphasize color more than detail, purpose more than the object in the image itself; communicating something deeper than the leaves and petals of a potted rose plant.

Many of us are living days full of uncertainty in regards to the future. Many questions, many options and opportunities, expectations, disappointments, plans and changing of plans can make the future feel blurry and frustrating. "Wouldn't it be so much simpler if God just dropped the answer from the sky and told us exactly what to do?"

Simpler? Perhaps. But a rose can not be forced open. It blossoms over time and with care, and there is nearly as much beauty in the unfolding as in the full bloom. It does not stop blossoming because we do not know what it will look like, but it can be ruined by our lack of attention to its need for water, for light, for protection. Our laziness can cause its death; our nurturing, its thriving. As time passes, it steadily opens and reveals itself in all its fullness, and all the days of attention to the health and vitality of the plant are now invested into the beauty of the plant. The waiting increases the anticipation and the appreciation once it is in its full glory, just as in life, the waiting exercises our faith and broadens our capacity for joy as the recompense of patience.

And isn't it interesting, how the bloom does not decide to leave its stem in order to blossom elsewhere. It is most beautiful, and quite contented among the thorns.

I often think of the progression given in Acts 1:8, " . . . And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Have you ever noticed how He starts with Jerusalem, and moves out to Judea, then farther out to Samaria, and finally ends with, "unto the uttermost part of the earth"? Right where you are is your Jerusalem. Consider your home your Jerusalem: your first and highest priority. Consider your town your Judaea, your state your Samaria, your world the "uttermost part".  I don't know about yours, but my family has needs. My town could use a missionary, and if my town could, I know my state certainly could, and we all know our country needs Christians to "stand in the gap".

Let me encourage you to endeavor to do the most with what you have, right where you have been "planted". God will move you to Judea and to Samaria and beyond as you prove wise stewardship with where He has you now. Why should God give more to those who have not done what they could with what He has already given? If we deepen our walk with God, He will broaden it.

And who knowest whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Esther 4:14

Labels: , , , , ,