The first Friday of each month is Random Journal Day for bloggers all over the world. (Slight exaggeration alert!) We open an old journal...preferably your own... and use the page to inspire a new blog post. This morning my fingers opened to an entry written on Valentines Day in 2006. I was a ministry school teacher, sitting in on a lesson from one of our favorite guest teachers, Graham Cooke. He is also a very good friend of our family to this day. My journal was often used for notes during teachings that were important to me at that time, so the page is my class notes.
My eyes fall onto this sentence in the middle of the page, "God embraces that part of you that you don't like. He says, 'I choose this part of you that you don't like.'"
The teaching was taken from John 15:1,2..."I am the true vine and My Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away and every branch that bears fruit He prunes that it may bear more fruit."
Graham pointed out that the original words for "takes away" also meant "lifts up". (The margin in my Bible that includes optional definitions also states that this could mean "lifts up or cleans".) Picture a vine grower moving a branch from the ground and pinning it up on the trellis so it gets more sunshine. If this really was the intended meaning, it would be telling us that the parts of our personalities or habits that seem negative or fruitless to us, can be cleaned up, repaired and turned into something positive and fruitful.
Today, I will apply it like this...
- If you feel like you are too quiet and shy, God may be saying to you that He loves that part of you and wants to lift it up so you will see that the world needs the quiet ones. We need the contemplative ones around us to help us understand one another. The quiet ones are the listening ones. All creativity requires some listening time. Writers, artists and musicians all must have some quiet in order to pull up the new idea and the new thought. Where would we be without the quiet ones?
- If you think you are too loud and brash, God could be reminding you that He designed you to be the spokesperson for your generation. You are the one who will defend the voiceless and stand up for the little guy. Some things need to be said loudly and clearly without self-editing and self-protection. The world needs you. Justice needs you.
- If you worry that you are too soft-hearted and gullible, God could be wanting you to know that He likes that about you. He loves the way you rescue animals, people and hopeless situations. He created you to be a believer...you believe everything you are told. Sometimes it gets you into trouble, but most often it allows you to love others with an open heart and without prejudice. Where would we be without the nurturers?
- If you've been accused of being a perfectionist, it could be that God loves perfection in some areas. He may want to use your precision and ultra-care to create wonderful things that others will marvel at because they would never have the patience to create such beauty. Yes, perfectionism can be a heavy and uncomfortable burden, but it has its place in the world. Who wouldn't want their surgeon to be a perfectionist?
You get the idea right? What is your "fruitless branch"? What is the thing that you dislike about yourself? Don't try to hide it from Him. Hold it up to the Gardener and see how He views it? He may be ready to repair it, or to let you know that there is always a positive side to every negative.
Okay, did not know I was going to get all preachy on you! Never know where I'm going to go on RANDOM JOURNAL DAY! :)
This post is part of the RJD Link-up with several other journaling bloggers. Hop on over to the homebase and read what others have linked up.
Pin It Like this? Don't forget to SHARE...