Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cedars of Lebanon

5:30am now. Yesterday was not a good day. I woke up sick with a bug I picked up some where the day before. Might have been some food, don’t know. So early morning I started heaving . . . and other things . . . . hoping that everything will be okay by 9:30 when we leave for a tour of the cedars of Lebanon. Something I’ve been looking forward to for a couple of months.
It was not to be. The fever just got stronger.

So my day was filled with sleep, bathroom runs . . . and attempts to get as much water into my body as possible. The team got back last night about 7:30pm and they had a great time. They had communion under some cedars. There were some Bedouin believers that came as well.
Cedars are amazing trees. Did you know that the temple was built with cedars? Cedar walls, cedar ceiling, cedar beams. Everywhere but the floor, which was juniper (1Kings 6:14). The temple always portrays the presence of God. If you wanted to be near to God you would go to the temple. I love the smell of cedars and so every time I have an opportunity to breath in this aroma I take it all in slowly. It reminds me of God’s presence.

I like the picture of repentance in Hosea 14 where God’s response is to heal, love and be like the dew. Dew brings blessings and growth to everything it encompasses. And it’s complete and all encompassing. It’s like God is saying that he will bless me fully with his presence.

Hosea goes on to say that the repentant heart will be like a cedar of Lebanon. Fragrant and regal. A cedar that is continually growing upward, ever increasing in strength. A sweet fragrance to God and everyone that passes by. And with this great size comes the ability to be a great shade to others providing relief and comfort from the elements. This is quite an amazing thought. If I have a repentant heart, the impact is far more reaching than just my own life. I will be used in the lives of others to provide comfort and peace.

I wish to be like a cedar. Full of God’s presence, fragrant, full of beauty, having value and providing shade to others. To be rooted as a cedar where I am unmovable in my faith. To have the same vigour as one of these great cedars where new shoots are always presenting themselves and leading to new growth.

The Lord will be like the dew, I will be like the cedars. All that I am as a cedar comes from his ever abiding presence.

When I feel like I’ve been robbed of my beauty, filthy from sin, He restores beauty.

When I feel robbed of my strength, feeling week an unable to continue, He restores strength.

When I feel robbed of my value, feelings of worthlessness, He restores value.

This is a picture of great abundance.

I never saw the cedars yesterday but I’m okay with that. Another day perhaps. My day was spent reflecting on God’s presence in my life and the abundant fruit that is promised from such a gift.


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