The Rustling of the Leaves

11 Aug

I like to compare things from the spiritual world to things in the natural world. Spurgeon was known for his timeless comparisons. I don’t think you can read a paragraph of Spurgeon without at least one simile. I’m going to now build something up and try to make this kind of comparison, so brace yourself. I may fail, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

I took a math class recently and unfortunately I had a very bad teacher. Her name was Ms. Veres.  Her voice was so monotone and uninspiring and her rough Portuguese accent didn’t help one bit in understanding the already complicated material.

I knew most of the basic material because of my previous math teacher, Mr. Mackenzie, who insisted on teaching more than what was required. He was an old man with white pearl-white hair and a short beard. It’s a pity that his beard was short because if it were just a few inches longer, he would have looked like a real life Santa Claus. He loved to make jokes in class. Sometimes his poor memory was the butt of our jokes but we never felt guilty because he would always laugh along with us. I loved that guy. He made math fun but in a good way– a way that motivated us to solve problems and prove difficult theorems.

I had already learned almost all the material that was being taught by Ms. Veres in our first week of class. So instead of studying and getting ahead of the class in the curriculum, I would whip out a good book or just drift off in my thoughts. College students are very sleep-deprived, so yes, I did sometimes get a few minutes of shut-eye. I know, shame on me.

One day, as I was drifting off, I looked out the window and soaked in the view of downtown Montreal. I don’t live near many tall buildings so it’s fascinating to me how architects and city planners build those sky scrapers. What holds those buildings together? How are they so sturdy?

It was windy that day. Wind I think is one of the most fascinating things in all of God’s creation. Here’s something made up of tiny moving particles that we cannot see (because they’re so small and spread out) but we know exists because it affects other things that we do see.

Think about it.

When you look outside, how do you know if it’s windy or not? Is it a windy day because you see the wind like you see the sun on a sunny day? Of course not. The only way we know that it’s windy outside, or that wind even exists for that matter, is by looking at the trees, among other things. If the branches and the leaves are rustling and moving, then yes, it’s windy outside. Is there any other natural way? If there is, please fill me in. I’m always interested in new ways to defy the laws of nature.

In some weird way, our faith can be like the wind. Faith is not something tangible, but we know it exists. How do we know this? We know this because when we encounter times of struggle and trials in our Christian walk, our faith keeps us focused on the prize. Just as the trees do not stop the wind but reveal its existence, so do trials not hinder our faith but expose it and strengthen it.

Hebrews 11:8-9 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.”

Abraham left his home, his land, his family and all his possessions and followed God and obeyed Him by faith. You try to leave you home and all that you love and follow some voice you heard without faith. Faith keeps us on track, focused on God despite the struggles that come our way.

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