They came one day without warning. The back side of our property is lined with a pretty dense population of pine and hardwoods. Some time, unknowingly to us, there had been men in our "forest" marking property lines and trees to be cut down with that bright orange tape-ribbon. Then out of nowhere, one day we awoke to the buzzing of heavy machinery and the low roar of diesel, logging trucks moving slowly around our property. After the initial shock and several days, we decided that we'd like to have some of the trees taken down after all - as if we had a voice in the matter. As we eagerly anticipated what it would look like, how different it would be to "see" through our forest - as quickly as it all had begun, it stopped...and we still have a "small forest" on the back side of our property. :)
This morning as I stood at my kitchen window, I caught a glimpse of one of those orange ribbons fluttering in the breeze. And God began to minister to me...
As long as we are living on this earth, we will continually have lessons to learn and areas to grow in. Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" God is continually searching our hearts, just as the men who were marking the trees in our forest. Sometimes we can't see the trees for the forest! Alone, we often cannot "see" the things that we need to work on or what needs to be cut out of our hearts. When God thinks it's time for us to start working on another area, He marks it with a bright orange ribbon bringing it to our attention.
One thing about God - His every attribute wants to see us be the best we can be, He will work with us and continue to extend grace and mercy as He teaches. He's preparing us for His Kingdom! If we will submit ourselves to Him, be willing to go through the pain, discomfort and overcome, He WILL continue His good work in our lives. There's nobody who is as gentle and gracious as our Lord is!
Is there an area in your life with bright-orange ribbons fluttering in the wind? Is God trying to show you something He wants to work on in you? Don't be shocked...we're all there at times. Remember, we're a work in progress! Don't be afraid to allow God to cut-up your forest and eliminate things that are a hindrance to your growth in Him...be confident that He always knows best. Can you hear Him tenderly moving through the forest in your heart? bidding you to allow Him to make some changes? Be thankful for those orange ribbons in your life...He'll never leave you like He found you!