I have never felt more home in Louisiana. I know many are not happy with the snow, but I can’t help but say thank you to Lord this morning. I have been asking him to bring me closer to Him and to have more of an awareness of his ‘loveprints’. Bringing a snow storm down to Louisiana is not only unexpected but revealed beauty in the midst of a storm. Holy Spirit has had me mediating on Isaiah 55 this week and I can see why very clearly today.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways. ”This is the Lord’s declaration.“ For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” -Isaiah 55:8-11 CSB
Things don’t go always as we plan or expect and life can bring a storm we never expected. What we can trust is that He is good and that He cares for us. It may not feel like it as we go through the storm. He can feel coldhearted and it may feel like we will slip and fall. However, His heart has never been more turned towards us than this moment right now. He won’t allow us to slip. If we invite Him in, he may just show us beauty where we least expected it, right in the middle of the storm.
We see all throughout the bible the references to nature. Tree’s, the stars in the sky, seeds, harvests, and so much more. Why do we see this so much? One, I believe that God is a genius so he has given us examples throughout his word that we can see easily. He always knows when we need help! When we see a bird flying in the air, we can be reminded of his provision. When we see storms, we can be reminded that they do not last forever. The Holy Spirit really helped me out today in two verses in Isaiah 55.
You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will come up, and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up; this will stand as a monument for the LORD, an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed.-Isaiah 55:12-13
When we make Jesus the Lord of our life, we no longer hold onto our old way of living. Heart transformation has taken place and we are now a new creation. Our roots are now in a different ecosystem, the realm of heaven. We are now new creations and our roots should be growing down deep into Christ. We see in verse 12 that even the mountains and hills break out in praise when repentance takes place. The trees of the field will clap their hands as all of this takes place. What is amazing to me is that in these two verses the profound facts of not only the tree’s. But that God uses tree’s in his word to represent our new life found through salvation given to us through Jesus Christ. Looking at verse 12, it is now revealed to us through the Holy Spirit that all of heaven rejoices from those who makes Jesus their Lord.
Do you remember the Parable of The Sower? In Matthew 13 Jesus talks about his word falling upon different types of ground. Such as someone who hears the word of God and does not understand it the enemy snatches it away, this is the one along the path. The person who hears the word of God and immediately hears it with joy but has no deep roots, this is the one that has a rocky ground and it is short lived. The last two examples are both in Isaiah 55 and The Parable of The Sower. Jesus talks about the one sown among thorns, this is one who hears the word but is caught up in the world and the deceitfulness of wealth which in turn makes it unfruitful. Then finally comes the example of good ground. The one sown on good ground hears and understands the word and yields much fruit.
In Isaiah 55, God uses the examples of us as trees when our roots are grown down deep into him. Instead of a thorn bush we will be like a cypress tree. What is amazing about a Cypress tree is that they have extensive root systems that makes them able to adapt to any environment. They are free from disease and pests and can easily tolerate high winds and ice storms. These cypress trees bloom anywhere they are planted. When we have our roots growing down deep into Christ and his word, we are no longer easily carried away by the wind. We are not a tumble weed, we are a cypress tree with a firm foundation and rooted into God himself. When the storms of life try to take us out, we will not be overtaken because our extensive roots. They are firm, strong, and unbreakable. We are able to easily adapt to new environments because of our life-giving source, God himself. As a Cypress tree, a new creation, we are able to bloom where we are planted all because we lean into God and his word once again.
God then talks about us not being a brier, but a Myrtle. A brier is just another thorny bush. Remember the parable of the sower? What is interesting about a Myrtle is that there are different stages that this tree goes through in all different seasons. This tree’s flowers need to be pruned so it can reach it’s max capacity in fruitfulness. Just as the Lord prunes us of things that will not make us yield much fruit. Another interesting fact is that the myrtle tree’s seeds last even through the winter. Just as we will never have a season that is unfruitful when we are rooted in Jesus Christ. At all times we have access to not only living water but the bread of life! God used a myrtle tree also because of the easily germinate seeds of this tree. If you are like me you have no idea what germinate meant. To germinate means to cause a seed to easily sprout wherever it is planted. Just like you and I, God takes the seeds we plants and gives it growth. The most beautiful thing about the myrtle tree is that the leaves itself are used to heal. How beautiful is it that God uses us to be messengers of the Good News to heal the nations?
When our roots are grown deep into Jesus Christ, we are like both the cypress tree and the myrtle tree. We are not easily blown away in the storms of life and we are fruitful in every season. Time is never wasted, we go through seasons in life to prepare us for what is to come next. The seeds we plant, God will always give the growth. Pruning may be painful but man does it make us fruitful! We are called to share the Love of God because as it has healed our hearts, it will heal so many others. As a cypress and myrtle tree, a new creation, a Child of God, we are an “everlasting sign that will not be destroyed”.
You my friend, are a mighty cypress and delicate myrtle tree. Let God’s word grow down deep into good soil. Hear the word of God, ask for wisdom, and apply it to your life. God wants you to linked up with his root system to be strong and mighty, heal the nations, and plants seeds no matter where you are planted or what season you are in!