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More than one way to look at something
Pastor's corner
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I am excited about an upcoming revival. Some time ago, my wife and I were in a local department store when she insisted on buying a tree that looked dead. Even though the tree was being sold at a tremendous discount, I was irritated that she wanted to buy the tree. We were looking at the same tree but we saw something totally different.
I saw a dry tree, a heavy burden to lug home and a hole I had to dig to plant the dead tree. My wife saw a mistreated tree, a great bargain and an opportunity to work with her husband in the yard. I looked at that same tree a few weeks later and saw new growth. If that tree could talk it would offer thanks to my wife for looking beyond its dried appearance and seeing what could be.
There are times in all of our lives that are replicable of the tree episode. The day-to-day grind of life has mistreated us. We have been hurt, robbed of our joy and left in some isolated corner. Sometimes even the church declares we are of no value and places a “discount” tag over our heads. We sit in our corner of the world and waste away. We find no joy in our daily walks and attending church becomes a chore. Sometimes we feel that even our pastor sees us as a burden he must transport.
Our leaves of productivity turn brown and fall off, and our light to the world grows dim. The fact that God has used us in some unusual way in the past does not prevent us from being on the “bargain shelf” today.
Elijah was used in an extraordinary way on Mt. Carmel. But Chapter 19 of 1 Kings finds this great prophet sitting under a tree and praying for death.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that when we are ready to give up and die, Jesus sees in us what my wife saw in that tree? Jesus frequents the “bargain basements” of life.
When he comes to Christians that have been “discounted” by everyone, He sees a mistreated person of value, remembers that He already paid the price on Calvary, and knows the Holy Spirit can revive this one.
Even though you are not producing as you should, Jesus wants to find you a new niche, give you a little fertilizer and see if you’ll produce next year.

Scott is the pastor of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church.
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