Recently I read that walking by the Spirit is no more than inviting God into my internal conversation with myself. I resolved to try to live this way but since then, haven’t really been doing it intentionally.
This morning, while I was bathing, my thoughts were in idle mode, just running on themselves. Mainly I was thinking about the Girl Guide camp my daughter is running this weekend. The weather forecast is dismal – 80% rain on Sunday. Every Guider knows the hassle of packing up in the rain. You can’t pack up wet tents. They go mouldy and rot. Mostly you have to take them down wet, bundle them loosely, take them home and, as soon as the sun shines, put them up again then pack them properly when they are dry. I idly thought of possible contingency plans.
While I was worrying thus, it is almost as if the Lord interrupted my thoughts.
HIM: Why do you need a contingency plan. I thought you handed that over to Me last night.
(I remembered I had prayed last night with the family that it wouldn’t rain until the tents had been packed away.)
ME: Yes, but the weather forecast said…
HIM: Do you think I can’t?
ME: I know You can.
HIM: Don’t you trust Me? Or would you rather trust the weather service?
I had to think carefully about these questions. I decided it was not that I didn’t trust God nor that I doubted His power but rather that I thought the God of the universe should not be troubled by such a trifling matter.
HIM Remember the trees? remember the avocado tree.
That silenced me. I remembered them both.
Our neighbours used to have eight tall conifers just in front of our north-eastern wall which divides them from us. When the house was sold about two or more years ago, we got new neighbours. I was careful to hint to them that we’d love the trees cut down and we would be happy to pay half. Then later, when I saw they were actually cutting down other trees, I raised the matter again and tried to set up a meeting. It never happened. Soon after that I read again Mark 23-24.
“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ but does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”(NIV)
There was nobody around, just me and the trees, so I thought I’d try it. “Trees,” I said, “be cut down in Jesus’ name.” then I stopped fretting about it.
The trees are no longer there. In about April this year, the neighbours started work on extensions. They wanted to build extra rooms so her parents could move in with them. The trees were in the way.
As for the avocado tree, we have a tall avocado tree next to our house. It has never given us any fruit. When we came back from a two month winter escape this year, my gardener reported that the tree was dying. Sure enough the leaves were hanging limp and seemed to be a dull grey colour. Remembering the conifers, I said to it, “Tree, live, in Jesus name.” Although many leaves turned brown and fell off, new leaves grew. Now it looks like this.
So tomorrow I am going with my daughter to help with the Guide camp until her assistant arrives. Maybe I should take an avocado leaf with me.
Lord Jesus Christ, I am never quite sure when You are speaking to me and when it is my own imagination. Please interrupt my thoughts more and more frequently and teach me to know Your voice.