A Call to Love – A Tree of Life
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick:but when the desire cometh it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12 (KJV)
Another great gift, a God-given gift filled with time, seasons, and opportunities. This season of my life cannot be influenced by last year’s ending. I evaluated my thoughts words and actions, and on reflection, it is apparent that I was not led by God but driven by fear and hopelessness. I was stuck, “in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night. “ Proverbs 7:9 (KVJ).
My twilight, my black and dark night had nothing to do with time of day. Instead, I looked on with a myopic eye, did not pay attention, did not see clearly, I was also critical and judgmental. As humans, and sinners, we tend to consume our emotional and physical energy with distractions and I became drained beyond the spiritual. I became stuck in the muck and mire without hope and faith. My only movement was sinking deeper into the swamp and the struggle took me deeper, faster: dazzled by light eclipsed by shadows.
All that was visible was ugliness, shame, hate and guilt, and I felt justified. I enjoyed the pain, the self-pity. I even embraced the fear. Oh me oh my! Why? Days and weeks turned into months. I indulged in trappings and was seduced and enticed and felt indignant and more righteous. My behavior was out of character for me. “For the goodman is not at home, he is gone on a long journey.” Proverbs 7:19 (KJV). My “goodman” was Faith which was replaced by fear, doubt, and hopelessness.
I had opened my doors every window and crooked crack for the evil one to crawl under and into, to challenge my spirit. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV) The evil one seeped into my body and spirit and I obviously became ill. I know my joy comes from the Lord and I longed to hear the sound of my laughter. It was then that I realized that I was full of fear and not faith. I had lost my joy but I saw a glimmer of light. Then, the battle was on. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood…but against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) With that realization, I cried out to Jesus and surrendered to the Lord. I refused to grieve the Holy Spirit, who lives in me, by hardening my heart with roots of bitterness. I repented and I thanked my Holy Father for His abundant blessings, grace, opportunities, and forgiveness; I also told Him how much I loved Him. He whispered to me that He will never leave me or forsake me.
I physically kicked the devil out of my house, my life, and my family. As I took that action I began to pray “greater is He that is in me; than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4 (KJV). I filled my home with worship music, and I celebrated the Lord, because I know God is bigger than that. My faith is stronger than that. And I know better than that. God has shown me no matter what I am going through, how I feel or what I do. He has shown me faithfulness. God sent His only begotten son right where I was in the muck and mire, despite how I felt and how I failed Him with my bitter thoughts and ugliness. I began to focus on God’s gift, not any obstacles. My focus is Jesus. Jesus is the bridge over my big wide-open red pumping heart. God is my provider and my protector and He is a God of justice. Lord, please continue to grow my faith. Cleanse me and use me for Your glory.
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:21-22 (NIV)
Elizabeth P. Brooks is originally from Trinidad and Tobago and now calls Tampa Bay home. She is deeply concerned about human dignity and the need for social justice. She is outgoing, loves the sound of laughter and the power of the word. She is a performance poet and has had several poems and two non-fiction essays published in Indiana Voice Journal. She is the author of a recently published chapbook ,“You May Applaud Now and other poems” and she is currently working on a novel and many other projects. Elizabeth is a reference librarian at Saint Leo University in Dade City, Fla., and volunteers as an adult literacy tutor in Tampa. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post. You can visit Elizabeth at her Facebook page here: Elizabeth Brooks