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Posts Tagged ‘#purpose’

By Ahuva Klein

Where I live, it is dry.

A heat dome (a new word for the local vernacular) last month resulted in over 800 heat-related deaths. If you walk around it will quickly become obvious that plants and trees have been dying in this heat in which they are not designed to survive.

Everything is dry!

There has been no rain in July, only 37mm in June … the first half of June.

It is dry.

With the heat dome and the dry conditions forest fire season is upon us. Every day I awaken to updates on the radio, the weather websites. Images of smokey skies, people in shelters and fire racing up tall trees and hillsides are the daily visuals.

The other day, while listening to a podcast about (ironically) Moses and the burning bush, it took on new significance in this hot, dry summer.

The story of Moses is told in Exodus.

Just the other day I wrote about the conditions into which he was born in the post, Hidden in Their Hearts. His destiny at birth, like all the other Hebrew babies, was a permanent water bath (drowning).

So, years later,

Moses,

born in love

given back to God in trust

was in a hard place.

He had been raised in the palace of the Pharaoh,

killed an Egyptian guard,

run away,

protected seven sisters from shepherds who hadn’t allowed them to water their flocks at a well (but … maybe he was the one who was really thirsty?)

was given one of those daughters, in marriage (a Midianite woman who thought he was an Egyptian … so maybe he was still struggling with his identity?),

and now he’s off wandering in the dessert with his (his father-in-laws) flock.

Though it would appear that he knew his location, I think Moses was lost. The identity he portrayed was not that of a Hebrew, but Egyptian. He held within him the unconscious memories of songs and messages and prayers of his mother who buried them into his lovingly nurtured heart.

I think Moses might have been as dry as much of the landscape of British Columbia is currently … ripe for fire to burn it to ashes, to dust. He was a man born to a purpose, one his mother knew was a purpose given by the God who saved him as a baby. Yet, here he was, tending sheep in the hot, dry desert.

“the angel of the Lord appeared to him (Moses) in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.” (Exodus 3:2)

Moses was seeing the impossible. A tree, on fire, yet the tree was not destroyed. That would catch my attention!

Then he said something that reminded Moses who he was,

“I am the God of your father, 

the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” (v. 6)

“the God of your father” … in this statement and the following fathers of the Jews, God reminds Moses of his identity, of who he is, of the whispers of his mother, buried in his heart before he could understand. This is the beginning of his rebirth, the beginning of his life of really living. This is his holy ground moment.

As God tells Moses his plan to save the Israelites through him, Moses gets doubtful (the dry bones of doubt). And he says, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (v.11)

Now, if I were God, I would be rolling my eyes (like a parent) and saying, “did you hear me? were you listening? I just told you who you are!”

But God, still burning in that still full of life bush, is much more patient and compassionate (v.12).

“And God said, “I will be with you.””

And this is the God I serve. He reminds me who I am and then he reminds me that

He.

will.

not.

leave.

me.

alone.

Yet, Moses still has doubts …

I think what is happening here is fascinating because there’s a bush on fire, but it’s not destroyed. God is speaking to Moses, telling him who he is, that he will not be left alone and it is Moses who is brought to ash in the face of this fire.

His life so far has been one of confusion and feeling lost and lacking attachment to anything and anyone. There have always been whispers of identity within his soul, yet they have always been out of reach, a jumbled mess. Now, in the midst of an isolated desert, the God of his people, God himself is challenging him to abandon his fear. To make the faith of his fathers HIS OWN FAITH. He has a choice to make … the choice we all have to make … do we chose to live the life God has for us?

And who shall I tell them sent me? This is Moses last question and the answer, though perhaps odd and indefinite to us (and to him) is nothing short of definite,

“I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation.”


I am … no beginning, no end. Reliant on nothing and no one.

This is the God who creates, who never leaves our side, and, later in this story of Moses being willing to follow and obey God, we get to hear God’s ultimate promise, to the Israelites and to us all …

I will redeem you

Redemption is the result of obedience, of trust. It is the result of our ashes being born into new life. Only God can make new things out of the rubble of our dry and thirsty lives.

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Snowdrops

and crocuses

and daffodils

and hyacinths

and tulips

and …

I love them all, those bulb flowers.

They herald spring before the calendar, bringing color to our landscapes before the grass is barely awake. Some (hyacinths) provide scents that make our insides smile. They bring smiles to our faces. They provide hope, for they, in all of their colorful beauty, emerge from their dark, cold winter grave with spectacular life, purpose.

Solomon in all his glory

Now if only they would last a bit longer!

The thing is we plant them in the ground at the end of the growing season (mostly). There they sit, in the Earth, dark and cool. They are lulled to sleep by the lowing temperatures, Then, without a will within their bulbs, they simply begin to grow, up through the soil. Fed by the light they continue growing, adding leaves and, eventually, flowers.

They just do what they are supposed to do and their beauty is jaw-dropping.

“See how the flowers (the lilies, the tulips, the daffodils) of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:28-34

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It’s when I see a leaf fall, flowers fade, the sunset after dinner, feel the chill in the morning air. Autumn is here in more ways than just the change of calendar … and I feel sad.

Autumn was once my favorite season, with it’s red leaves, sweater weather and talk of Thanksgiving. It is the season hubby and I met and were married, the season when two of our three were born. It was my favorite season …

Then, for some reason, unknown to me, I began to see it, not as the start of something new, but the end of something loved.

Don’t get me wrong, I do still take delight in the cool breeze and changes in the color of the leaves, but … the seasonal change … it also seems to herald endings.

The older I get the more I embrace the heat of summer, daylight stretching into the night, bare feet, leisure time.

I recently read a verse that made me ponder these feelings about the autumn.

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does will prosper.” Psalm 1:3

Maybe that is it … maybe it’s the withering that is partially to blame for my apathy towards this once favorite seasonal change. Maybe I am starting to see myself as withering and fruitless.

It is so easy to feel less fruitful once the house is quiet of the daily noise of kids in the house. It can feel a bit like you’re a leaf that was blown off the tree.

Yet, if my hope is in God, if I stay planted near him (in prayer and in reading of his word), this Psalm assures me that I will still produce fruit in my life, still be used by him to do his will.

A number of days ago, hubby was beckoned to an elderly lady. Originating from Southeast Asia, Canada has been her home for many years. Now into her nineties, she spends her days praying.

all. day. every. day.

This is what she says is her calling, her purpose … and she fulfills it beautifully.

When hubby walked to her, she said, “I am going to pray for your family” and immediately proceeded to do just that.

“It was just beautiful. Something so special,” he said, when he told me at home later.

This woman, though very much withered physically, has stayed near the living water and she has not withered in spirit or purpose one bit. She is still, very much, producing fruit.

Kinda makes me want to go play in the leaves.

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Karla Sullivan

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