In life, bad things happen. They always do. I was reminded of this last weekend in Colorado Springs in a rather interesting way.
Mollie's cousin was getting married and her wedding was outdoor at this cool little park. My job for the wedding was to keep Kate from running down the aisle and yelling during the service. So while everything was happening, Kate and I walked around the small park and looked at things.
At one point Kate started to get antsy and walked towards the aisle. I quickly swept her up and carried her over to a tree near by. I reached up and picked a leaf off the tree and handed it to her. She took it in her hand and turned it over and looked at it. Then she did something I didn't expect. She reached the leaf back up to the limb and tried to reattach it to the tree. As she let the leaf go it floated to the ground and she watched it fall. I quietly whispered in her ear, "no babe, that leaf can't return to the tree" and that's when the truth hit me.
That leaf is as good as dead. Now first and foremost I realize that this is a morbid thought to have in the middle of a wedding. I realize that. But this thought stuck with me. I stepped back and looked at the tree as a while. It was a huge tree. Thousands of leaves. One missing didn't really matter. Then I looked at the leaf on the ground...it was still cut off from the tree. It had no way to receive water and therefore life.
Our lives are a lot like that tree. We have a thousand different parts of our lives and each one can be something that one day will go wrong. It might be something tiny, something insignificant but it goes wrong and we have to deal with it. Say for example you get a parking ticket. Not a big deal, but it happens.
Then there are some things in our lives like a branch. These are things that are bigger than the leaf. A branch holds a lot of leaves. When something like this happens, life is altered. You can't just move on. You have to address it. Life has to stop to deal with the loss of a branch. In life this would be equivalent to making a mistake the had significant consequences. Something that can't be walked away from immediately but that one day can be healed. There are still scars but in the end everything will be better.
Then there is a limb. A limb holds a lot of branches. When a tree loses a limb, it loses a major part of it's body. If you have ever seen a tree that has lost a limb you know what I mean. The tree looks like it's missing something. Like it's life will never be the same. In life, losing a limb would be a major life changing event. This would equate to the death of a love one. When a tree loses a major limb, it's noticeable for the rest of the life of the tree.
The realization that came to me that day is that no matter what bad thing happens in your life, the love of Christ is there for you. His forgiveness is there to cover you. His comfort is there in your darkest hour. His grace is there in your most immediate need. The truth is you might not be able to be made completely new, but God can help you become like new. That's what Jesus' life and death was all about. It was to take the bad things that happen in our lives and help us through them. It was to take our sin upon Himself so that we are pure.
My prayer for you today is that you might know what Jesus did for you. I pray that you will know that bad things happen but that Christ is there to help, even if no one else is. I pray that you will know his grace, peace, and comfort for the rest of your life.