A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I was enjoying the early morning atmosphere outside- beautiful trees, a kid swimming pool with tad poles alive and well, mysterious fog, ant armies just a few feet away, and quiet!  I told God that I wanted to hear Him through a picture.

I heard a teaching once on how God speaks through pictures (visions / dreams / etc.).   God asked Jeremiah, “What do you see?”  Jeremiah answered back, “I see the branch of an almond tree.”  The almond tree is the first tree that begins to blossom and bud after the winter.  Its Hebrew name signifies “hastens to awake.”  This tree brings what is dead back to life; the call on Jeremiah’s life was to awaken God’s people out of their slumber.  I guess a picture really is worth a thousand words.  I’m sure God is an efficient communicator, so I have stepped out since then and begun to regularly ask God to speak to me through pictures.

gods_hands_holding_worldBack to the tadpoles.  As I stilled myself to see, God gave me a picture of God’s hands holding a world.  I instinctively knew that the world he was holding represented my personal world- my dreams, desires, wants, needs, struggles, my future.  Then I saw myself
grabbing what was in God’s hands in an effort to control it.  As soon as I had it in my hands, the world turned to sand and effortlessly fell between my fingers to the
ground.  In that moment I realized that I couldn’t keep track of and sand-through-fingersmanage all the grains of sand.  Many times in the Bible sand represents an immeasurable amount.  My heart bowed as I quickly understood that I cannot do this life well in my own strength.  This is a recurring lesson the Lord has sought to teach me; for some reason I keep thinking that I understand this concept, and then all of the sudden sand is at my feet again.

As I searched for pictures online that matched the vision that God gave me, I came across a powerful image of Jesus that stopped me dead in my thinking and reminded me of an event from the day prior.  The day before, my best friend and I had a swimming play-date with our collective five kids.  As I was packing up (towels, wet bathing suits, pack-n-play, floaties, toys, everything that you have ever owned in your life!), my four-year-old who jesus-reaching-incannot swim was in the deep end of the pool holding onto the ladder!!!  I rushed to get him out.  After a serious conversation with Judah about how dangerous this was, I quickly realized that he did not understand the possible ramifications of his actions.  He defended his behavior as good by saying that if he sunk to the bottom, he could just walk.  This was similar to another event in his past when he defended leaving the house (without permission) and said that if someone ran over his leg with a car that he could just army crawl!  The online image of Jesus is from the perspective of someone drowning and needing to be saved (like when Peter was walking on water, took his eyes of Jesus, and sank into the sea).  All of the sudden I realized that I was like Judah, sinking in the deep end, thinking that I can do things my way and how I see fit as best.  In the same way that my son had no concept of natural laws, we have no concept of supernatural laws.  To constantly take our dreams and desires out of God’s hands in an effort to micromanage is rooted in pride and results in worry, fear, and lack of faith that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do.

As I look at Jesus reaching his hand down to save me from myself, I am reminded that in His grace He is always reaching, always affording second chances, and always modeling the patience I seek to emulate with my husband, kids, and students.  I am not called to have all the details figured out (mothering / teaching / blogging / youth ministry), but I am called to abide in Him.  As I abide, He will direct the very next step that I should take.  All I need to do and all that I am responsible for is actually taking the next step.  My world is in His hands and that is the best place that it could ever be.

Love,

ashley final pic 2

4 thoughts on “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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