After church today, our family took a ride through the countryside to head to a restaurant. I was still sensing the Lord close to my heart as I was looking out the window and recalling the sermon, songs, and conversations. It was here I sensed a deep impression as we were driving by something I won’t soon forget.
As we were driving along through this dreary day, I felt comfortable inside my car. The few remaining dry corn stalks were bending in the cold Wisconsin wind. Clouds were hanging low as to remind us that snow was heading our way soon. I soaked in the beauty of big red barns set against the backdrop of a damp, grey sky.
I noticed a greenhouse. It was next to a barn, set beside a large tree. It appeared that it had not been in use for many years. Several windows were shattered. The reason for its dilapidated state however had obviously not been caused by outside forces, but rather by something from within.
Through the broken and shattered windows, I noticed branches reaching toward the outside. When I looked closer, I saw that a tree had been trying to grow on the inside. It was as if something very delicate was trying to contain a wild and trapped creature.
When I shared my experience at the restaurant with my family, we all agreed that a small seed must have gotten into the greenhouse. Eventually, and through many years of neglect, the tree had grown out of control and was destroying the very thing that housed it.
Hebrews 12:15 came to mind.
“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God;
that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble,
and by it many become defiled;”
“Lord, we need your help. Show us our sins that threaten to overtake our lives. Teach us to live in the grace we desire for ourselves. Help us to be generous with grace toward others and forgive quickly. Show us how to live in such a way that not even the smallest root of bitterness takes hold. Thank you, Father, for Jesus, your greatest gift of grace to us!”