I had been wrestling with the idea of blogging some of my life experiences with the intent of encouraging others who may be going through similar situations. Although the main audience being those who have been attending church for a long time and are caught in the cycle of just "doing church", I believe these stories will reach all audiences with God's help.

I'd rather fail miserably at something I feel God asked me to do than just sit back and wonder what could've, would've or should've happened.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hugging THE TREE

There are few things I remember from my childhood in the Dominican Republic as I arrive to the USA when I was 7 years old. Some memories stand out very clear, though. Like the time I busted my neighbor and closest friend’s chin open. Let me explain.
 In the DR, we didn’t have PS1, PS2, Nintendo or none of that stuff. We had to make up games to keep ourselves occupied. One of the games we played was sliding in the cement floor of our porches when it rained. This was every Dominican kid’s rainy day playtime activity. We would take a running-start then slide on our backside or chest on the slippery cement floor. Who needs PS3 when you have that?!

One rainy day as I was playing with my neighbor, I decided to give him a little push so that he could slide faster. Apparently, I didn’t know my own strength. As my neighbor went face-first to slide on his chest, his chin hit the cement floor and was cut open. My laugh quickly turned into a frown as I saw the blood pour down his hand that he was holding over his chin and unto his chest.

I ran through the hallway to the back of the house and climbed up the big tree we had in the backyard. Holding for dear life, I hugged the tree as if would defend me from the discipline that was sure to come – my dad’s size 34 leather belt! It was as if hugging the tree would actually save me. So I hugged the tree tighter and tighter.

Recently, during my morning prayer and devotional time, I came across the parable of the True Vine in John 15 where Jesus compares the relationship of the vine and branches with our relationship with Him – He is the True Vine and we are the branches. It goes on to say that we should remain connected to the Vine so that we can bear fruit.

After reading this passage, I was immediately reminded of myself on the tree and how “safe” I thought I would be if I remained hugging the tree. God wanted to let me know that the only way we could be safe from all of life’s worries and struggles is if we are hugging THE TREE known as Jesus! THE TREE is not only a safe haven but it is our complete life source – without THE TREE we can do nothing! 

Since this experience, I have been hugging THE TREE by reading the Word and spending time in prayer every day. For me it is the source that keeps me going each day…the breath of life my spirit yearns for…the beat my heart needs to stay alive. Hugging THE TREE helps me understand that without Jesus my life is nothing!!

“I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”  (John 15:5 AMP)