Crunchy Old Bark ….


Sometimes, something really triggers a process of my thoughts ….

This past week .. with lots of other things in my mind .. God drew my attention – to the bark on the trees, that are a daily sight from my back window.

For some reason,  I just happened to notice that although these beautiful trees, which are mostly all Eucalypts (Gum Trees) .. are all growing at different rates .. They are in different stages of a growth process.

Some of the largest ones have a complete covering of crunchy and crusty bark … Then there are others which have lost bits of bark as they grow larger .. revealing a beautiful smoothness coming through underneath. . Still others are completely smooth with a glowing newness revealed – just like the smoothest sandstone, with an amazing array of colours and variety of patterns …
Then as I looked down – a patchwork of mulch in a rainbow of colours and textures, laying on the ground and forming a thick layer, feeding and enriching the soil below …

Being the thinker that I am … These things all pulled together in my mind and made me look at us .. people .. myself ..

We are as complex and varied as the trees .. the bark .. the rough and the smooth .. the layers, the colours and the crunchy bits .. the way we shed certain thoughts and ideas as God grows us from within … He reveals a newness in us .. a new understanding of some long held prejudice or ideal .. A past hurt – able to be healed and off comes that hardness that we have held onto for so long .. we are now just a little softer .. fresher .. Refreshed in our thinking and in our spirit.

I want to be like a tall gum tree ..

Strong, but smooth … Deep roots reaching down to the rich soil that nurtures my soul .. Willing to accept the growth that sheds my crusty exterior and reveals the smoothness of the Holy Spirit in my life ..

At the moment I would describe myself as a sapling .. I stumble .. I still get bent in a strong breeze … My bark is very hard in places .. My desire is to keep growing though ..

I don’t think anyone could articulate these thoughts better than the Apostle Paul did in the Bible in Romans 12 … So lets hear what he had to say ..

A Living Sacrifice

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:1-2

And … as a Post Script to this recent blog …

I realise that shedding our bark only happens as we grow stronger in our faith .. I dislike the trials of this earthly life .. There are more struggles than one blog post can possibly contain .. For all of us .. They may take a different form – but they are real .. and they are the soil in which our faith can be fed .. My bark has been watered by lots of tears recently – so I am trusting that a growth spurt will follow soon 🙂





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