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Splitting Boulders

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 2 Thessalonians 1:3 ESV


If you were to walk through the Natural Resource Trust (Sheep Pasture) trails in Easton a few years ago, you would have seen an unusual site. There was a huge boulder that a tree had split. We can assume with certainty that the boulder hadn’t grown, so the only conclusion is that the tree seed, over hundreds of years, had taken root in cracks in the stone and worked its roots down through to the soil beneath. Over time, the pressure exerted by the slow-growing tree gently expanded the crevice until the rock split. Sadly, when I was there last week, I couldn’t find the boulder, but the tree is still thriving.


In 1 Thessalonians, Paul prayed for the young church, that they might “increase and abound in love.” (1 Th. 3:12). The seed of Christ had been planted, and his prayer was that it would continue to grow despite the persecution–the boulder–they were experiencing. In today’s verse, we hear Paul’s thanks to God that what he had prayed for was answered, their faith was “growing abundantly” (some versions use flourishing), and their love and care for each other had continued to increase. That tiny seed that had been planted had taken root and would eventually overcome the seemingly impossible object.


We certainly face obstacles today. In some places in the world, Christians still face persecution. We are blessed in this country to worship freely, but there are still boulders in our way. We are constantly tempted and tried. Satan tries to confine us and whispers that what we are going through is impossible to overcome. It’s so easy to accept what he whispers as the truth and let that seed that has been planted be washed or blown away. But we know that Satan is a liar; God is truth.


So what do we do? We must be committed and determined to remain rooted and to grow in faith and love. We do this by reading the Word to understand what it means to be faithful and how to love. We also grow by continually praying, listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and being obedient to its urgings.


Father, thank you for the lessons found in nature. May our hearts, in which your seed has been planted, continue to grow in faith and love. Increase our understanding of your Word, and open our ears for listening and our hearts for obedience. Please help us grow as the tree to overcome obstacles that bind us. In Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.


Blessings,

Pastor Tim


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