Monday, August 11, 2014


Our family farm in Michigan holds many special memories. The tire swing in the barn. The pine trees my dad planted on the back hill - now towering high above the ground below. The farm house and barn itself hold many hidden treasures which in turn trigger many remembrances of days gone by. Days we remember and treasure greatly.

One of those treasures sits right outside the back door - a large maple tree. Is was big when I was a kid, some 50 years ago. It is even bigger now. I remember climbing up next to my grandpa as he rested in the hammock he had positioned under the tree. It's cooling shade, along with a gentle summer breeze, were always welcome on hot summer days.

Over the years the maple tree has grown - not only up and outward but down as well. It's long branches actually sag downward and out as it tries to find light for more of its leave. The branches are SO low in fact that they now block the view my sister, brother and I once remembered.

Back home in Wisconsin my wife and I are building a fireplace in our home. One of my goals on this trip to Michigan was to cut an old barn beam on our farm and use it for a mantel. But in order to do that I needed a chainsaw. So when we were at our family reunion a few days ago, I asked my uncle if I could borrow his. He gladly said yes. He even put a nice, sharp chain on for me.

I cut the barn beam for our fireplace back home and began to put the chainsaw away. That's when I examined the big maple tree and decided to do some trimming. My sister, brother, my wife and I proceeded to trim branches off the tree until the view we remembered from our childhood returned. We all felt SO much better being able to clearly see the woods and the apple trees on the back hill where the deer come to graze on transparents and to bed down for the night.

Our lives can become cluttered with "branches" of its own. Things can get in the way of our "vision" in this world. We often lose what's really important in this life, like family, friends and memories of days gone by.

Are there "branches" blocking your view of Jesus? Things that keep us from reading His Word or offering up prayer. Things can creep in, blocking our vision of what's truly important. What we need is a chainsaw. And we need to do a little trimming in our own lives. That "chainsaw" is Jesus.

So pull out your Bible and begin to read it. Soon you will see your vision begin to clear. You will begin seeing things you had forgotten, since your childhood perhaps. You will begin to see things in a new way. And your life, and the things you see, will become clearer and easier to see.

God provides each of us with an inner desire to seek Him. Not everyone answers that call. Not everyone tries to trim the sinful things out of our lives. But for those who do, for those who desire to be refined and to become more like Jesus, there is an incredible world awaiting to be seen, the view of which is unblocked by the branches and leaves of this world in which we live.

Pick up your chainsaw today, God's Word, and start trimming yourself by learning what God's will is and then sit back and look at the world around you through God's eyes. The view is amazing.

"He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers." - Psalms 1:3

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