The Dry Leaf

Will you torment a windblown leaf? Will you chase after dry chaff? – Job 13:25 (NIV)

I slowly stretched my aching back as I swept more dried fig leaves I patiently detached, one by one, from the thin and bigger branches of the fig tree. Careful that my footing would be secure on our slope yesterday. Daily, I had been sweeping a few here and there. So, I thought of making my task easier by removing the other dry leaves that had not been blown off by the wind yet nor just broke off on its own. I nearly filled the bin meant to contain branches or yard clippings.

The fig tree looked a lot better as greener, remaining leaves remained. The yellow, decayed leaves gone from its still healthy tree. Battered by the chillier winter winds and sometimes, a hotter sun, those leaves withered away from the extreme, constantly changing weather. My husband and I enjoyed a few of its fruits this past summer. A lot lesser than what it previously produced. Still…The fruits were sweet.

My attention was interrupted with an in-coming text from a dear friend. She injured her foot and for four months had to be away from work. Except…that text came from the hospital where she worked. She was placed back to try and see how she would do as she still continued to recover from her injury. She had gone through so many trials. As a witness, I was grateful that God had given me the means to be able to help her in any way I could. I knew she wanted to give up many times. What words could one give if the burden was not on one’s own shoulders? 

Why does one thing after another keeps happening? I don’t understand, Rcubes,” she lamented one time as she laid on the hospital bed awaiting surgery and as I sat by the bedside. 

I knew her heart. She had a good heart. Full of kindness and love to those around her. But it seemed like waves of unexpected trial kept hitting her and kept coming. Threatening the sands of her faith in God to be washed away as those forceful waves came. 

I couldn’t answer her. I just told her what Jesus said. That we would face many trials and would have sorrows in this place or world. But at the same time, He wanted us to pay attention to the peace He could give. That could guard our hearts and minds. Because He had overcome the world. He didn’t want us to worry. For worrying would not add another day into our lives.

I knew I had to remove those dry, some rotting leaves from the fig tree before the wind knocked each off from its fragile branches, already battling the cold November winds.  I knew my friend felt like that dry leaf that had fallen to ground and still was being crushed by the forceful winds of trials. But God also taught me through His Word to be careful not to judge someone

Because someone who is going through tough times doesn’t mean that he or she is a bad person. 

Nor a prosperous person is someone who has a good heart and knows God. 

However, a sinner is like that dry leaf, being chased by the wind. Its forceful blow bringing to mind its own fragile state. God does the same… Sometimes, He makes us remember our past sins not to hurt us but most of all, to bring us to repentance. Because to know Jesus is to find peace among life’s turmoil. To discover and have life and revival of its dead condition.

"Just sore, achy..." another text came in from my friend...

My heart understood hers as I also had a history of neck injury from the past. But joy flooded my heart as I pondered:

Belief and faith in Jesus will make one overcome any trials...I knew I felt a smile appeared on my face as I stared at the greener fig tree and as I realized....

My friend would overcome....She already did...Trial after trial...She remained a victor...Despite the waves of doubts, she chose to believe... 

"Take care..." I texted back.
All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.


The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].