Painting our life sketches

An author had the following to say in connection with our limited intellect and Lord’s Grace:

“… Our real needs and wants are not those that are most apparent to us. The conditions we believe we need to grow are often not the conditions which promote true growth.
A monk who needed oil planted an olive sapling. Then he prayed for gentle showers for its tender roots, then for the sun to warm it and then for the frost to brace its tissues. He was puzzled to find the tree sparkling with frost but lifeless at the end and unable to supply his needs. In life, too, we lay down so many conditions that we are unable to grow spiritually.
The monk’s brother housed in another cell had also planted a tree, but prayed for it to thrive and entrusted it and what it needed to God. The tree thrived because God supplied its needs knowing better than the monk all that it truly needed to survive.
We are painting our life sketches and planting our life trees. Some of us choose stagnation, others growth. If we remain caught up in superficialities, we finally stagnate. We have to go beyond and look for the truly abiding hidden in the surface turmoil and cries of the battlefield to discover true rest. We cannot paint both pictures at the same time. We choose either life or death.”

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