The Juniper tree

DSCN2325

 

I have decided that this year I am going to spend a lot more time just sitting and resting under the Juniper tree.  Spending more time reading God’s Word, praying more and listening to God as He speaks into my life.  I am going to grab hold of His promise that I am the “apple of His eye”.

Deuteronomy 32:10

In a desert land He found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him: He guarded him as the apple of His eye.

Psalms 17:8

Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings

One of the Biblical characters that I most identify with is the prophet Elijah. He had major ups and downs, suffered from depression and frustration, was weak willed and often felt sorry for himself, and yet, he was known as one of the boldest of God’s prophets!  I can so identify with Elijah’s feelings of despair and depression.

  1. At one time God told Elijah to hide near a brook and said “I have ordered the ravens to feed you” and they do just that “the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening”.
  2. Elijah had authority through God to tell a widow that her “jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry” and that is what happened.  There was a never ending supply of flour and oil in the house.
  3. This same widows’ son dies and Elijah cries out to God “O Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” and “the Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him”.
  4. Elijah challenges four hundred and fifty of Baal’s prophets to call down fire from Baal and set a bull on an altar on fire.  The prophets cry out the whole day to Baal but nothing happens.  Elijah had made a separate altar and placed another bull on it with heaps of wood underneath it.  He then says he will call on his God to reign down fire from heaven and then, adds insult to injury, and tells some folks to fill four large jars with water and pour it over the altar.  He tells them to do this three times.  Once this is done, he calls upon the Lord and “the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil”!

Elijah then has all the prophets put to death.  The queen of the land at that time happens to be a woman named Jezebel and she is bitterly unhappy about the fact that all her prophets have been killed and she sends this message to Elijah “You killed my prophets, and now I swear by the gods that I am going to kill you by this time tomorrow night” and this man, who has witnessed the most awesome miracles, the incredible faithfulness of God, turns around and flees for his life!

He has just called down the power of God to start a fire with wood that has been drenched, he has been instrumental in bringing someone back to life from death, and yet, at the threat from a woman he flees for his life into the desert where he finds a tree, sits underneath it and gives in to self- pity! “I have had enough, Lord” he laments.

He reminds me of me!

I have known God’s faithfulness in my life, I have witnessed a few miracles, I have felt God’s peace and His comfort in times of great sorrow and yet when I am faced with disappointments, or the death of a loved one or the shattering of a dream I thought was from God, I too, sit down and cry out to God “I have had enough, Lord”.

Elijah falls asleep (or if he was anything like me, he cried himself to sleep) and while he is sleeping an angel of the Lord bakes a loaf of bread for him over hot coals and fills a jar with water and then gently touches him and says “Get up and eat”.  A few days later God speaks to him in a gentle whisper and then gives him an assistant in the form of Elisha to keep him company and to help him do what God has prepared for him to do.

God does not accuse Elijah of lack of faith, there are no recriminations about the fact that he ran away in fear.  God does not accuse him of being a coward and lambaste him for feeling sorry for himself.

Instead, God commands His angel to feed Elijah and to ensure that he has a good sleep and then God, Himself, speaks directly to Elijah and to top all this off He then gives Elijah a companion who will accompany him on his journey!

God treats each one of us in the same way.  His love and forgiveness is overwhelming.  When we are overcome by our own sins, mistakes, fears, hurts, God longs to comfort us and care for us and through the death and resurrection of His Son He has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him.  We don’t have to wallow in self-pity when we feel we have blown it/sinned against Him/failed – all we need to do is to take some time out, pray to Him, sleep, eat, rest and then wait for Him to speak to us.

God “does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities”.

Our God is “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”

1 Kings 18, 19
Psalm 103

9 Responses to The Juniper tree

  1. Pingback: UNDER A JUNIPER TREE | UNDER A JUNIPER TREE

  2. karenworth says:

    I read this definition of “apple of the eye” and loved it. I love pondering this phrases! “In Old English, the pupil of the eye (the round, dark center) was called the ‘apple’. It was thought that the pupil was a round object much like an apple (a piece of fruit). When you look at someone, their reflection appears in your pupil. So if someone is the ‘apple of your eye’, he or she is someone that you look at a lot and enjoy seeing.” I love your new title and look forward to seeing what He gives you to share! :0) Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Noelene says:

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Karen. It always amazes me when someone does!
      I am working on a blog at the moment which says exactly that – how much God loves us and also how
      we should be living in such a way that we reflect God’s glory in our eyes.
      Take care and, again, thank you.
      Blessings
      Noelene

      Like

  3. Susan Winter says:

    God IS love – otherwise He would surely lose it with us in our endless “Elijah moments”!! I am really going to try to find a Juniper tree this year. Susan x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Noelene says:

      I am claiming this year as the year of God’s favour in my life and that can only happen if I take the time to sit under a Juniper tree, in communion with Him, ‘feeling’ His favour.
      So, Yup, my Juniper tree is also going to see a lot of use this year!

      Like

  4. Pingback: “IT SEEMED DEAD BUT I LOVED IT” | UNDER A JUNIPER TREE

  5. Desiree Scott says:

    Noelene, you certainly seem to be an instrument in the hand of God. I have only just read this & cannot ell you how relevant this passage has been for me today at this moment in time – I am regularly overwhelmed by my own sin & the negative impact that has on others believing in Jesus Christ. Thank you for reminding me of the truth that He doesn’t treat me as my sin deserves but with abounding love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Noelene says:

      You and me both, Desiree! That is why I won’t have a bumper sticker on my car with a “I love Jesus” sign because I don’t want to give other believers a bad reputation!
      Some of my favourite words in the Bible are: “His mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness”.
      Thank you so much for reading and for commenting. It is so encouraging for me.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s