“A song of adoration will rise up from these ruins and I will worship You and give You thanks.”
These lyrics traipsed through my mind as I strolled along our country road. I needed a few moments alone with Jesus. You know…clear my mind, roll some burdens over on Him. I wanted to remind myself of His faithfulness. I needed to press in.
And then the most amazing thing caught my attention. On the side of the road, broken limbs and huge branches littered the edge of the woods. A few months back we had a horrific snowstorm. Branches snapped in yards and forests like rapid pops of gunfire. The damage was mind-boggling. Although most of the yards have been cleaned up, the forest remains a visual reminder of the destruction left in the wake of this massive storm.
Now…this is important. The branches that caught my attention have been lying broken on the side of the road for over two months. They were torn away from an ancient apple tree that grows on a meadow’s edge. They are not in the ground, but on top of it. There are no roots attached. The branches lie in a jumbled pile of brokenness. Can you see that picture yet? Okay.
Popping out of the tips of the branches are APPLE BLOSSOMS! Yep. That’s what I said. The only thing I can figure is that, although the branches were broken and left for dead, there was enough sap within them to produce new life when the spring sunshine began to bathe them in its warmth. I stood there dumbfounded and then raised my head towards heaven. My face relaxed into a bright smile.
And then I thought about the goodness of God.
I have felt so broken these past few months. I know I am not alone. I know a young family evicted from their home while the mom battles cancer. I know an abuse victim who walks on eggshells to avoid a beating. I know a cancer patient who just discovered the beast is back and invading her body. Many, many of my Christian brothers and sisters are facing desperate situations.
And yet they praise their God.
This kind of praise goes much deeper than a happy dance. Their praise is born of pain. It’s born of understanding the suffering of Christ. Their praise flows from the rivers of Living Water itself. It’s rich and has substance. Their praise is surrounded with groanings too deep for words.
How do they do that? How do I do that? I think the apple tree holds the answer. Just as the broken branches contained the dormant sap necessary to produce blossoms, the Spirit of God remains strong within His children, flowing through their veins, maintaining life within. In our brokenness, when we need Him the most, His Presence gives way to praise. How? Why? Because in our brokenness He reveals His tenderness and opens our eyes to see and know Him.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 reads, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed – always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
Beloved, the Lord is near to the brokenhearted. He will never leave you to suffer alone. Never. His Spirit dwells within. In due season this, too, shall pass and you will behold the glory and the power of the Lord.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page to worship with Mandisa as she sings, “Broken Hallelujah”. I know you will be blessed.