This day? this week? this season? this year?
Did you pass your test? Or when circumstances that appeared unfavorable to your purpose presented themselves – did you become sifted like wheat 🌾 become ungrounded in your faith? Dissolved and not worthy of adding any additional bricks to your rotted foundation?
Did you pass your test?
I love practice exams that are accompanied with the answer key. You know the ones where you can struggle through the tribulation and bam 💥 you immediately can check yourself to assess your current levels of comprehension.
If you ever want to know whether you passed a test in life – assess the way you responded to the Pop quiz. Were you prepared to have your faith tested. Did you respond calmly like Jesus would have? Did you respond by thanking God for the persecution – for the thing seemingly bad but works together for good for those that love the Lord? (Romans 8:28)Did you respond by quietly and patiently seeking God’s counsel? Or did you become susceptible to wrath and anger, a false manifestation of feeling out of control – because you were exposed from the original false premise of feeling in control whereas God should have already been in control.
Did you calmly trust what he put you through? When he took a thing away – did you remember he always restores double when you trust him?
Did you pass your test?
Today I had a holy day in Washington D.C., I had the pleasure of viewing the National Museum of African American History and Culture. God has shown me a tremendous favor. I was greeted by a museum employee who allowed me to skip the entry line and served as a friend to me today – using his employee authority to bypass each exhibit line via the employee elevator and plain ole’ line cutting – specifically the otherwise respectably long wait to view young Emmett Till’s casket. When I ordered a medium Jamba Juice the cashier upgraded my smoothie to a large at no additional charge and how could I forget how God chastised and warned me against napping prior to my bus departure lest I fall into a slumber too deeply and miss my outgoing bus to DC. Against his warning, I fell asleep anyway … and my God in all his marvelous mercy and compassion – not only awoke me on time – an usual thing happened with the 2 train causing this late night train which ordinarily runs local to skip several stops running express. Whereas I usually wait an additional 20 minutes for a connecting train to Manhattan God caused the train to arrive right on time and ultimately I was able to make boarding by a sheer 10 minutes. Super duper natural things – God made a way for me to attend my day trip and I want to give credence to his goodness (I digress) back to the sermon.
Did you pass your test?
Upon leaving the museum I stopped to use the restroom and left one of my favorite sweaters – a double insulated Northface brand zippered wooly sweater jacket in the bathroom! By the time I remembered It was too late – it was 30 minutes away and my bus to NYC was departing in 4 minutes.
I sat with the profound news for just a second – then I recalled all the lessons that my young adult peers have taught me, sermons that our Shepard has delivered, Bible study lessons Mother Sampson has administered and most importantly I began to dwell on the word of God, my prayers, my beloved counsel with God and I quickly found the right answer – I thought to myself “pruning,”
That now – being truly connected to the vine (connected by never-ending faith) I am producing fruit – blessings – so much so that my basket overfloweth and has provided remnant for those I love – overabundant fruit – well, I just finished delivering a sermon on pruning and in it I emphasized that God prunes whom he loved so he may deliver more fruit. Aaahhh. My prized possession, my jacket, God has taken from me in an act of pruning.
Testing my harvest to decide if he shall double my orchard or scale back for another season. And I say NO. Double the harvest and if I don’t have room enough to receive in the name of Jesus Christ distribute my harvest to my loved ones. To my family, to my church family than to my friends. I remembered that God is the author of all and he never makes mistakes so he wanted me to forget the jacket. So he may provide me with a better covering, a better thing.
Truth be told – the jacket which I adored had many flaws, the zipper – jammed every single time I wore it and I often had to fight to align the zipper back on its track. It was malfunctioned. The velvety wooly texture which did a pleasant job at keeping me warm also had the added displeasure of making me overly hot, causing me to be drenched in sweat regardless of how low the temperature was. My point is, isn’t it astonishing how much we cherish things that are subpar for us then throw tantrums when God prunes this rotted fruit from our trees? We become wrought with God because we can’t foresee the superior quality of things scheduled for bestowment. That’s why we must trust – he is able to see all and know all. Moreover, he loves us greatly more than we can love ourselves and when we trust his love for us we can access a supernatural protection for ourselves.
Sermon conclusion: trust the pruning, trust the purging, trust the spring cleaning, trust the sharp blade of the pruning shears digging against our insecurities. Trust it all and trust in God – the faith we have on earth works twofold to release blessings here and release schedule rewards in the afterlife. Christ said he came to not only give us life but to give us life more abundantly. Claim that life that God has for you. Don’t live life impoverished, unhealthy, unfulfilled, publicly holy but privately miserably. Secure the good soil and secure the good sun/son that sends downs the water of life upon you so you may bare abundant, bright, ripe, large pieces of juicy, rich fruit! Your fruit is for you. Envy not the tree of others for their blessings are not transferable. God has a special peace, a special promotion, a special Man/Woman for you! Get ALL that God has for you! Live richly as you were created to. Grab your faith basket and collect your fruit!
God bless you,