DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: We see Him differently
I was out enjoying a nice walk the other day when my eye caught an interesting sight. There was some mistletoe growing in a tree. I’ve seen mistletoe before, that isn’t what was unusual about the sight. This mistletoe was growing low in the tree. I mean, I could walk up and touch it. I enjoyed seeing the green leaves in the middle of the drab winter.
I began to walk away with a smile, when I felt the Lord drawing me back to this tree. I try to listen when I get these little tugs on my heart. I took a second look. This time I was struck by how the mistletoe was attached to the tree. Mistletoe puts its roots into the bark and actually draws its energy and life from the tree sap.
Now my mind was whirling. Naturally, I began thinking about Jesus’ teaching of the vine and the branches. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches that have been grafted in. We draw our life, our energy, from Jesus. He uses us, the branches, to reach out to the world with His great love. He wants to see us produce the fruit in our lives that comes from intimacy with God.
I received His message and again began to walk away. I had only taken a few steps and was drawn back yet again. I looked at the mistletoe, and then I saw some bright green moss growing on the side of the tree. This is the kind of moss you tend to see on the ground. It was a delight to see.
I took a closer look at the truck of the tree and discovered lots of different kinds of lichen. Even some of limbs had different varieties of lichen. It began to occur to me that this was something more than a lesson on the vine and branches.
I asked God what He wanted me to see. I looked closely at these different lichen and moss and saw that each one was thriving in its environment. Each species found its place and interacted with the tree in its own unique way.
If the tree did represent God, then He was interacting with each of these things in His own unique way. Then, the thoughts began to flood my mind. God was showing me that He interacts with each one of us in His own unique way. We are unique individuals and we each see God differently.
It should be obvious. We all have unique backgrounds and experiences, and they shape our view of the world and of how we see God. If you grew up in a loving home, it might be easier for you to imagine your loving Heavenly Father. However, if you were raised by a single mother, or your father was abusive to you, then it might be difficult for you to imagine a loving Heavenly Father. Your experience doesn’t leave room for a loving father. Imagine the challenge for those who had an absent father.
What God began showing me was that He is willing to go to great lengths to reach out and connect with people. He was also showing me that He interacts with each of us in His own unique way. I don’t see and experience God the same way as you, and vice versa. My grandmother once told me that she experienced God’s presence in absolute stillness and in singing old hymns. I need a little more upbeat music and an opportunity to express myself. God meets each of us uniquely.
This is why it is so vital for us to be in fellowship with each other. I see God in ways you don’t and I might be able to help you when you are struggling. You have experienced God in ways I haven’t and you might be able to encourage me when I am struggling. Your experiences and understanding are different because God is so big and He interacts with you in ways that you will understand. None of us understands all His ways.
I want to encourage you to open your hearts to the idea that God is so big that He interacts with each of us uniquely. He loves each of us way beyond what we can think and understand. I also believe that He will go to extraordinary measures to reach the lost. Any God that would allow His Son to die on a tree so that He could have a relationship with me is a God I want to know better. So let’s make room and learn from each other about the wonders of our awesome God.
Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glover Hines was born March 1, 1919 in Georgia. His family moved to Chattanooga where he received his early education.... read more