Last night I wrestled with God. Not in a physical sense but in a spiritual sense.
I was angry, angry at circumstance. I had complained for the last two days about a decision I ultimately agreed with, just not the way it was delivered.
God finally threw the knock-out punch. He told me, “Complaining is you telling the world you don’t think I’m in control.”
I laid in bed for more than an hour, those words pouring through my heart, finally concluding, “Man I suck. I’m a jerk. I need Jesus in control of my life.”
In Phoenix, when Jenn and I moved into our first house, there was a grapefruit tree in the backyard. It looked a little ratty but there was a decent amount of fruit on it. We picked a fruit and brought it inside to eat. When we cut it open there was no juice, no real fruit at all. The exterior looked great but the interior was nasty.
Having grown up around fruit trees and gardens I grabbed the pruning sheers and went to town. Jenn not having seen a tree pruned before thought I had killed it, she thought the people who owned the house were going to be pissed. Essentially, I had taken every little life sucking branch off and just left the big ones. The tree looked like a shell of what it had previously been.
I told her to TRUST ME.
When time came next year for the tree to bear fruit it was about a month late but it had twice as many grapefruits as the previous years tree and they were huge and full of sweet fruit! When I took away all the needless branches the tree was able to send the sap, its lifeblood, to the fruit.
My Stone Church family is in disarray. Not only did we lose our leader but also two other pastors. We effectively have a senior’s ministry pastor, a family life pastor and a women’s ministry pastor. Larry, Gerry, and Sherri, WE LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAITHFULNESS.
I believe this is a time of pruning. As a congregation we are freaking out because a great deal of our leadership is gone. God is saying the same thing I told Jenn after I pruned our grapefruit tree:
He is focussing the lifeblood of the church into the areas it needs to go to create some awesome fruit.
At the end of the day, I know this: I trust God and,
I AM STONE CHURCH.