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In the Hands of the Master

I recently read about something called the Circus Trees. I was captured and intrigued by the picture above. After reading the article I learned that these trees were actually made from several saplings. Alex Erlandson was inspired when he noticed a natural graft between two sycamore trees. He began to take saplings and bend them together. He would strip the bark in various places and bind them together. The photo above is six trees that he combined in this process and is just one of his amazing wonders. His first tree art was made to celebrate the birth of his daughter. He even moved his trees along with his family when they relocated to California. He created 70 unique tree designs in his lifetime.

As amazing as the trees are what captured my attention most was the process he went through to make the desired design. I couldn’t help but think how similar it is to God’s desire to grow and shape us. I would imagine that each of these trees took years of care and adjusting, not to mention a vision for the end result. Much as we take a lifetime to be drawn to Jesus and to learn how to yield to His loving touch and to grow in the ways He leads us.

Most often growth happens when we are taken in the hands of the Master Gardner and put through some steps, being bent, turned around, even having our bark peeled away to expose areas of our heart that He wants to bind up to His Word. Though it seems like this process would bring harm it actually brings incredible strength because each single tree is now joined with others and can draw from the strength of the whole.

As I read on I also found that this process only works if the trees being used are from the same tree family. Because they are the same type of tree they do not reject the tissue of the other tree it is being bound too. I couldn’t help but think how when we allow God to first bind us to His Word and secondly bind us to one another we not only draw people’s attention but we stand in a strength and beauty we would not have on our own. Instead of being a single tree we become a reflection of the Master Gardner. Instead of looking like every other tree we are shaped in His image.

The question is will we allow the Master Gardner to form us into that image? Will we bend to His touch, even when it is uncomfortable, awkward and seems unusual? Will we allow Him to peel back those areas of our hearts that have been covered over or perhaps never tapped into? Will we allow His Word to be applied and bound to our hearts even when it takes us in a direction we don’t understand or never wanted to go? Will we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and exposed to those of our same family and allow Him to join us together as one? Will we be so broken that we are willing to draw strength from those He wants to use to speak life to us? Will we lay down our independence to be intertwined with others and become that which He desires us to be.. a pure spotless bride?  Will we sacrifice and lay down our thoughts, hopes and dreams to allow Him to make us a reflection of Him?  The Master Gardner has a vision of what we are to become if we place ourselves in His hands.

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