Friday, January 26, 2007


The Fallen Tree

"The Fallen Tree"

By Ramone - January 25, 2007

Back on the 14th Yoko and I were at Denny's talking, and the subject of a ministry we were involved in some years ago came up -- the homeless ministry at our old church in Osaka. We had started trying to help, and we did help for about half a year or more. But I only stayed there for one year, and the criticism we ran into at the church made it difficult for her to return there. One of the criticisms leveled at us was that it wasn't right for me to start that kind of work if I was only going to be in Osaka for a year... who would take it over when I left? They certainly didn't want to.

As Yoko and I were talking about this, we realized that a lot of people think that "ministry" needs to last forever. Yes, there is follow through, and yes, there is a need to responsibly love and care for people and not just do "hit and run" ministry. Yet there are times when you just have to do something and entrust it to the Lord that He will follow through. Christ said that even if you give a cup of cold water to someone because he's thirsty, that is something valuable in His sight.

So yeah, our "tree" fell. It didn't last forever. But you know what? We were young then and I think that it would not have been good if it had continued much longer. There are seasons for everything, and that season came to a close for us (however I do pray we can begin helping people that way again elsewhere in the future). However, the things we learned from that experience have not finished. We laid our lives down for God & for people who needed love, and the effects on our lives are beyond count.

In a forest, not every tree lasts forever. Each one falls and the beautiful tree is gone. But where it falls, it brings life to the forest. The shelter and shade it brought to birds are gone, but in its death and decay it brings shelter to other animals and nourishment to the ground and its plants.

Sometimes we prop up our "trees" longer than they're meant to live, don't we? We want every program or ministry we do to last forever. But seasons are part of the life God has created on earth, and we can trust Him that if it is time for something to "fall" and finish, then there will be more "life" brought out of its death than there would be if we had kept it propped up.

Amazingly, Yoko recorded a documentary on Japanese TV here where they were talking about plant life in jungle forests...

They have sunlight for 12 hours, but only 2% of the light reaches to the ground. But the chance suddenly comes when an old tree dies and falls. Not so many new plants can grow when there's not enough sunlight. But when the old tree falls it makes a large open space where sunlight can reach.

The space will give life to the jungle. Little plants immediately start to grow, and race to get up into the sun. Even seeds which fell only a few days earlier begin to sprout up! Vines begin looking for trees to lean on. And some of these little plants will become 70-meter high trees. The little fast-growing "pioneer plants" begin to grow fast, even 8 meters in a year, but the ones that will become 70-meter trees grow slower, and will last longer.
I have had many trees fall in my forrest. Somehow the Lord gives me what I think will be THE ministry and in a year or so it is finished only to be replaced with another one that I love just as much as the one I had. I can't tell you how many times in my life that has happened so I asked the Lord just what my minitry was. (Wanting a specific name for it) The Lord's answer was, I've called you to be available so I can use you anytime, anywhere and in whatever means I choose. I realised that that was the best of all because some are called to a specific ministry which is wonderful but in being called to be available you really have a ministry that does EVERYTHING! God Bless, Claire B

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