November 23, Mark 11:23

Mark 11:23

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. ”

There are several verses in the Bible that follow this thought.  As I type this post I am feeling so discouraged.  Not about this blog, but about something I read today.  I read Jeremiah 10.  I am now feeling like a heathen.  Yes, I snicker as I typed that.  You see, if you read it you will question your Christmas tree.  I had already started my tree and I felt so despondent as I tried to finish the garland.  So, what did I do?  I kept putting the tree up and kept a quiet conversation with the Holy Spirit.  Then today’s verse seemed so redundant that I wanted to skip it and that is when I re-read the story of Lazarus again.  You know, using the avoidance method to get my head on straight and ponder all the thoughts going through my mind and heart. 

The part that I am going to touch on (because it gave me comfort) is the shall not doubt in his heart”.  I never doubted my Christmas tree before.  Don’t get me wrong, I knew since I was young, that it is also used as a pagan symbol.  But I never truly knew that our use of it in our homes was in the Bible explicitly.  Either I skipped over it or I had never read it.  I do not know how I missed such a blatant reading before.  Maybe it was because I was ‘young’ in my belief when I read it before?  Maybe it wasn’t time for me to understand what I had read.

After reading Jeremiah 10, I kind-of got very angry at all the preachers that I have sat in their congregation.   I have heard and  listened to messages on Christmas and the birth.  Not one preacher covered this!  Excuse me – have they not read that particular passage?  Are they scared of what the parishioners would say if the preacher would warn them that it was a heathen action to hew a tree down and decorate it with gold and silver?  Yes, that is their duty to expound on this little habit we have. 

So, here is how this verse has gotten me through this day and is helping me type this post.  The “not doubt in his heart” eased me and let me pray about my anger and my ignorance.  I would never have a Buddha in my house.  So why am I still going to decorate my tree?  I am decorating my tree for all my memories that I share on that thing. 

A tree, when I was little, was for Santa to put my presents under.  It was something that smelled good and having it in the house kept my Dad a calmer person.  Coming from a home where you never knew what mood the father would be in, you liked something that acted as a calming agent to him.  Then when I started in my own independent life, I would put up one to have a feeling of being connected to my past.   When I had children, I loved it when my little one would crawl on his back and look up the tree with the lights and say “pretty”.  As the children grew, I started hunting personal ornaments that celebrated what they had accomplished that year.  Now, with no one seeing my tree much, I have only put it up to be able to display all those individual ornaments .  My tree has evolved into an item that draws my family back in. 

Soooo, after several conversations with the Spirit and the Lord I still don’t know if I am in the wrong, but the shall not doubt in his heart” part of the verse has eased my angst.  Will I be as a towns-person in the last posted verse?  [Mathew 11:22]  I know that in my heart the Lord will help me find an answer to all this.  I just have to wait on him to give me the rest of my surprise.  What else can you call it when you read another verse and get a jolt? 

Because I should also expound on the thought of  what am I not doubting in my heart.  Here it goes.  We live by faith, right?  But how deep is that faith?  Could we move mountains?  I have never tried, and I see no logic in doing so; therefore why try?  I have prayed before and doubted what I have prayed for as being right; I know I never received an answer.  But I have prayed several times for physical things and added the ‘if it be thy will’ to the prayer; and I would get comfort from knowing that He has His hands on my prayer.  Then I have been desperate, really needing things and prayed that the Lord help me with the need.  You know what?  In those instances, I have received.  One time was when I was single and had no money to my name.   I had a bill that needed paid.  I also had just enough food for one day.  So, I prayed, not doubting he would provide. The Lord saw fit for me to be invited to dinner the next day.  During the meal, someone put a 20 in the floorboard of my car.  Some would call this just a little miracle, but I called it an answered prayer that I had not doubted would be fulfilled. 

I have no doubt in my heart of my salvation!  Therefore, I realized that the tree issue is just that, an issue.  It is something that I will be studying and praying on.  I have no doubt that the Lord will guide me to what He wants me to do about it.  But remember that I have free will and He will leave it ultimately up to me. 

My prayer for this post is that each will find their “no doubt” in their prayers and salvation. I also pray that each will have confidence and comfort in their heart.

 

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