As I was driving down highway 100 today, I noticed a tree I hadn't noticed before. It's weird that I've missed it. It sits on a little farmstead that I always wonder about as I drive by. It's a tall tree, taller than the barn, taller than the house, standing alone in its place. And, it's covered with blossoms. I did not want to stop looking at it. Something about that tree caught my heart.
I finally realized it is quite unusual to see a tree that tall blossoming as this one is. Perhaps the tall trees have their own splendor just by the sheer fact of their size. Perhaps God reserves the blooms for the smaller trees-giving them a splendor of their own.
This tree stirred something deep within me. For me, this tree symbolized God's extravagance. A tree already magnificent because of it's size and shape is now beyond a masterpiece because of its flowers. A place where God has poured forth beauty and grace-a little less restrained-all in one place.
Why does extravagance leak out in some places and not others? Mystery.
Larry Crabb says this, "...it's more difficult for Christ to restrain Himself from making all our dreams come true than for us to watch them shatter...He is right now holding Himself back from showering us with every conceivable blessing."
Holding Himself back. It seems He wants every tall, majestic tree to shine beautiful with blossoms. But for reasons unknown to us, He holds back. He.holds.back. The man who walked here. The man who deeply understands the frustrations of flesh in the way of experiencing all of who He is.
And so, I have to choose to believe. I have to choose to believe that His holding back is just as loving as His pouring forth.