Spruce Up Those Shiners


How long has it been since you talked with the Lord

And told him your heart’s hidden secrets?

How long since you prayed, how long since you stayed

On your knees till the light shone through?

How long has it been since your mind felt at ease?

How long since your heart knew no burden?

 Can you call him your friend

. . . how long has it been

since you knew that he cared for you?

~by Jim Reeves

 Sunlight Shining Through Forest

© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved and observed

Summertime.. . . time to spruce up the yard, trim the hedges, mow the grass, tidy up the rose bushes, remove the deadwood from the trees, etc.  My husband and I were busy last week doing all of the above. The weather was perfect– cool breeze, moderate temperature, partly sunny sky.  Yes, it was indeed time to resurrect the homestead.

Way out back, adjoining our neighboring farmer’s field, stood a disheveled old black pine tree badly in need of repair.  Somehow or another it had a lot of dead branches in it, and we don’t know if it merely got old and diseased, was picked on by hungry deer or Farmer Brown sprayed too much pesticide or herbicide on it or what not.  It plainly “didn’t look’a so good.”

We trimmed it out, towed away three carts of dead and dried up leavings and gave it a whole new demeanor.  It looks so much better now.  Yes, it lost ground on one side more than the other, but from a distance it doesn’t look so bad.

You know, our lives are sort of like that tree.  Through the years we sort of lose ground and plainly “didn’t look’a so good.”  Parts of our inner self die off and turn brown, a branch or two takes it on the chin too often and falls prey to neglect or self-punishment or the world has feasted on it way too often.   Others may think we look hopeless, about done in, “kick ‘em to the curb” again, a useless ugly thing.

Jesus is there to heal your wounded heart.  He’s there to spruce up the shiners.  He’s there to throw out the deadwood and fill your heart with peace and joy for the entire world to see.  He’ll make you brand-new and cleanse your soul; restore the music of life that God so solemnly placed in your spirit when you were freshly made.

Do you know Jesus?  He knows you.  If you don’t know him, look him up some day.  He’ll be waiting.

I look out the kitchen window and peer at that old black pine tree, and you know, it’s hard to remember that it once looked so scraggly.  It doesn’t look so weathered, so ready for the wood pile.  If fact, it has taken on a new perspective.  It wants to live, for today and for all the days ahead.  Life is worth the living.  As God has planned, so be it.

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

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