3-Week Series: Double Blessing

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Rich Ratts, former pastor of Grace Community Church here in Jackson and a now a church planter in Traverse City, once spoke at a pastor’s appreciation breakfast I attended. He began by talking about a cheery orchard outside his window. One night when he couldn’t go to sleep right away and he lay there listening to the rush of blood through the capillaries in his ears, something dawned on him – he didn’t hear any signs of a struggle. He didn’t hear any grunting or groaning, he didn’t hear any creaking or cracking – he didn’t hear anything but his own pulse and the sound of his wife breathing. And he found that odd because he knew right outside his window was a cherry orchard with living trees that were growing. Where were the signs of a struggle?

You see, the Christian life is often compared to a tree or a vine or some other form of plant life, yet we also talk about the struggle of growing in our Christian faith. So if it is such a struggle to grow, he reasoned, how come I don’t hear the trees straining to reach for the sun? How come I don’t see their leaves trembling under the exertion of stretching skyward? Why can’t he see the tree’s trunk heaving with the effort to produce fruit?

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