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Be "willowing"

Posted on: Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Lord is in the business of reconstruction, and he is the world's greatest architect and engineer.  From the beginning of time he has been known for tearing things down and building them up again. In Jeremiah 24:6 he says, "My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them." This is seen throughout the Old Testament in regards to Israel. This is what the Lord says later in Jeremiah 30:18 "When I bring Israel home again from captivity and restore their fortunes, Jerusalem will be rebuilt on its ruins and the place RECONSTRUCTED as before."  "Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers" Jeremiah 31:4

From what I have noticed in the scriptures, the Lord either tears things down that are destructive, or in order to rebuild them BETTER than before.  Sometimes it's about the foundation and sometimes its about the design.  The Lord is concerned with both.  He wants us to be founded in Him, but he also wants us to be the best representation of His Character.

The Lord promises that He will restructure many areas of our lives in order to enhance the spiritual aspects of our existence. Sometimes this is against our will, and it becomes a long, slow, costly, and noisy process (I hate the sound of construction waking me up in the morning...) 

Usually when people decide to remodel their homes they hateeeeee the process that you have to go through before they get to the end result... But usually the end result is worth it, but only if you yield in complete obedience during the entire process.  Sometimes this even means leaving the COMFORT of your home for a time.  

I think the Lord often calls us to leave the comfortability of our homes so that he can remodel them and make them better than before.  I think comfortability is what is what makes us resistant to change, in that we are not flexible....  

One way flexibility can be defined as is, "something that is able to bend without breaking."  For example, trees. The trees that are most capable of surviving storms are the ones that can bend...  when a tree is not willing to compromise with the wind, that is when it reaches its breaking point.

Despite their lacking presence in Oregon, willow trees are my favorite.  Their low-hanging branches laced in green flowing wisps are far too inviting. They make me want to climb up into them and hide for a while.  As a kid I always wished I had a tree fort in a Willow tree... I still do. Willow trees are known for their strength, but their kind of strength is contrary to the conventional definition of strength.  Most Americans would define strong as something firm, solid, hard, heavy, or stable.  But these are the trees that actually end up falling or breaking in storms.  Their branches are thin and flexible.  Their leaves are light, and they flow back and forth with the changing direction of the wind, and yet are not damaged during strong winds.   Why?  They are FLEXIBLE. 

“There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant—'I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual'—you wouldn't be nitpicking like this” (The Message, Matt 12:6-7).

Flexibility is difficult to see.  Think of physically flexible people.  You don't know that they are flexible just by looking at them.  Now think of physically "strong" people.  You can tell that they are strong by looking at them, but that does not necessarily mean that they are less likely to break than a person who does not look outwardly strong, but is inwardly flexible.  Such is the case with football players.... Outwardly strong looking... inwardly very inflexible.  Yet most of their injuries result from lack of flexibility, causing muscles to tear, ligaments to rip, and tendons to explode.  Moral of the story, flexibility leverages ones strength.  

Much like trees, we are told in scripture time and time again that we are to be flexible.  In scripture, this is often worded as the Lord asking us to "be willing."  

So I propose to you... let us BE a "WILLOWING" people. Flexible AND strong, willing to submit to the wind and trust that we will not be struck down or broken. 

And once again this brings me to the verse that has moved mountains in my life over the past couple years.  "For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling..." Isaiah 30:15 

Isaiah 1:19 "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;"

May we be flexible. May we be willing. May we be willowing. 


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