Clinging…

cover-to-cover

cling: (v.

  • to adhere as if glued firmly
  • to hold or hold on tightly or tenaciously
  • to have a strong emotional attachment or dependence
  • to remain or linger as if resisting complete dissipation or dispersal

In my area of the world, it has been a glorious autumn…October held so many sunny days and the kaleidoscope of fall colors filled the air more than the ground.  We have a beautiful maple tree along our parking strip and the progression of leaves changing their colors was especially grand this year…green, green with red veins, yellows, orange,red with yellow veins, deep reds…the loveliness of this tree took my breath away many a day.

Then the rains came…bringing with them wind…and one day I opened my front door and this is what I saw…

 

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 and this from a different angle…how I wish I was a more accomplished photographer…

 

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The tree that had once been flanked in a cloak of foliage now was bare except for a small cluster of leaves at the end of a long branch.

I could not get this image out of my head this week…the vision of these leaves clinging…clinging to the branch…a branch that was attached to a tree.  These leaves that had somehow defied the storms and remained…although it would have been understandable if they had fallen to the ground.  They kept clinging despite winds that had caused our house lights to flicker.

The time that we have spent in the gospels has been time well spent.  It has gone so quickly and yet so did Christ’s life on earth…

I am reminded of the seed that was planted in Mary’s womb…the seed that went through rocky ground to foil the plans of those that wanted to see it die before God’s time…a seed growing in maturity within the walls of the temple and on the knee of Joseph.  A seed that grew to tree status as God beamed with pride at Jesus’ baptism.  The Tree began to bud and put forth leaves as He called His followers and was in full array as the crowds began to grow…crowds that were amazed by His works and His Words…crowds that praised Him and many outsiders found shade in His shelter. 

This tree was not without arborist that desired to prune…to cut down and destroy…they wanted to pluck away His popularity and do away with their own conviction. 

As time went on, there were the first signs that some of His leaves were wafting away…dropping to the ground.  The crowds lessened…the cries against Him intensified in decibel level.

The autumn breezes whipped through the Tree leaving the 12…they clung to His Words although they didn’t always understand…He spoke to them of life…He told them they could be like He and His Father…ONE…He told them that He was the Vine and they were the branches…He assured that He would leave them with peace and would give them a Helper…He told them to cling to Him.  One declared that even if everyone else deserted Him…he would not…one was baffled that he would be one who would betray…

In the Garden, the close circle of 3 saw their grip lessening…their worry was so great that they could not pray but found slumber to cope…final leaves falling to the soil below…one leaf anchored by coins of silver…a rooster crowed and yet another leaf…now a Tree stripped bare…cut down…it is finished…or is it?

“The hour has come for the Son of God to be glorified.  I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds…whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

John 12: 23-24, 26

The Seed had to die to produce many seeds…we are those seeds…we are those leaves that must cling to the Vine…despite circumstances, opposition, world condition…the raging storms of life.

Yet what if we fall to the ground…I would say that is the definition of grace…we get to begin again…very much like the cycle of death and rebirth…the leaf falls to the ground…but it does not stay the same…there is a death…a returning to the soil from whence it came…nearer to the roots…nearer to the Master…close to the Vine so that it can once again bud…unfold and extend its leaves in praise…to cling once again…humbled…wiser…grateful…

There was a time where my tree was very small…it was easily bent by strong winds…now over many years…over winters of cold, springs that bring cool refreshment followed by scorching summers…all of it has been necessary to bring a masterpiece of color…and yet with each passing season the tree grows taller, broader, more branches and more leaves…more beautiful.

Cling to Him today and every day…remain in Him…linger as if to resist complete dissipation or dispersal…hold on tightly and tenaciously…depend on Him…adhere like super glue to Him…

We could be any one of the people we see in the gospels…we could be a betrayer…a denier…a sleepy one…one who fights battles that are not theirs to fight…one who has been a prodigal away and one who is a prodigal at home…one who momentarily believes he can walk on water and then looks at the obstacles and gets wet…one who needs healing…one who gets caught up in legalism…one who has doubts…one who is worried by much…one who is a cheat…one who thinks they know all the answers…one who needs a boost to lay eyes on Jesus…one who has a whispered past…one whose life needs to be resurrected…one who carries His cross…one who feels like they are an outcast…one who just wants to see Jesus…

Jesus came for each one of these people…in fact these are the people Jesus surrounded Himself with and He comes to each one of us…CLING!

You can read more posts on the richness of God’s Word at Bev’s place.

Clinging to my Lord,

Helen

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P.S.  I just finished one of my favorite books about prayer aptly titled…Clinging by Emilie Griffin…I have reread this book every couple of years for the last 10 years…I love it…it is not a “how to book”…it is an “oh my…oh yes” book on prayer…leave me a comment on this post and you will be entered to win a copy of this book.  I will randomly select a winner on Saturday November 15th.

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11 thoughts on “Clinging…

  1. Clinging with you and sometimes it feels like I am clinging by a thread. It’s one of those times right now. I’ve not heard of the book, sounds really good. Your writing is just beautiful! Holding fast with wonderful people like you!

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  2. ci says:

    Wow…what awesome lessons from your maple tree and the Word. I love the hope that is found in the Word and in the various seasons. Life does come again. Renewal and refreshing and NEW…Thanks for sharing your treasures of insight with us.

    Like

  3. Girl, you are a wonder. I know everytime you post that my heart will be blessed. I love the pictures you paint with your words.

    I’m going to be looking up Emilie’s book and see if I can find it at the library.

    Clinging with all my might,
    karen

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  4. Julie says:

    Helen,
    Hi, Friend. God has certainly blessed you in the area of writing! I love how you take an event that occurs every year and turn it in to a message! God bless you for being exactly who God created you to be, and using the talents He has blessed you with to bless others! Now, back to the cookies I am baking for my brand new husband (23 days now, but who’s counting?). I love you, Girl! Julie

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  5. “Adhere to Him like super glue”! I LOVE your post! Oh my goodness… it was amazing! I, too could be any of those you mentioned and have been a lot of them at some point in my life! Thank you for reminding me to cling to Him!
    Loved this!!!
    Love,
    Angie xoxo

    Like

  6. Karen says:

    Hi Helen,
    Hey, I guess I’m Karen #2!!
    I loved this post. Clinging is a great metaphor for prayer–and you had it right in front of you out your front door. I have a vine that I can see out my bedroom window and one “game” I play is to see which will be the last leaf–and sometimes it seems that not all the leaves fall…so that idea of clinging, of abiding, on the vine has occured to me as well…it’s not “natural” for a leaf to cling through the cold winter, the hard stuff, but it is possible…when we know to Whom we are connected. Nice. I especially liked your last paragraph about who we might be, the one who…I found myself thinking, “I’m all of those people!” Thank you God that though we are weak, you are strong.
    Blessings!
    love
    karen sl

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