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Now I See More Clearly

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (I Cor. 13:11-12)

In the context above, Paul was encouraging the church at Corinth to learn to love each other with a depth that is of greater worth than “spiritual gifts,” which they were spending most of their time arguing over. His point is this; when you clear out some of the distractions in your life, you begin to see things differently. When you are a child there is little experience. Things look different. Unimportant things seem essential. As you grow up, become a man, things take on a different perspective. In other words, when you clear out some of the brush, you can more easily see the hillsides.

This past week I had some timber cut off my land. I’m trying to open up some pasture land and also open up about five acres to plant in peas and watermelons. As the workers did their job, something strange was happening to me. There was a sadness that came over me as I watched the trees go down. One by one, something peaceful and private was being taken away. Some of those trees had stood on that ground when I was born. Many of them took on life the same year I did. It gave new meaning to the term, “parting is such sweet sorrow.”

If you have ever witnessed timber cutting you know it makes a gigantic mess. Instead of looking so great, it looks horrible. It is so sad. After a while I went to the back side of the farm. Upon my return, things looked different. One of the skidder drivers decided to push up some of the brush tops in piles. As I looked over the land, I saw a strange newness. For the first time, I saw the beauty of what was underneath all that clutter. What I had first thought so devastating had now become something beautiful. The hills rolled and the sunshine lit up places that had not felt its glow for over forty years. It was as if the earth, underneath all that clutter, was screaming an announcement of relief. A giant towering oak had now become visible and stood guard over the little pond, offering shelter from the storms of life to the birds and the animals that will soon stand in her shadow.

Suddenly my farm looked different. The clutter was gone. A newness appeared. As I looked I thought of how much alike we are. Our lives are filled with clutter. There are vines and briars and trees that overshadow our real beauty. Sometimes the clutter becomes so heavy, so intense, that the light of the “SON” cannot even penetrate our surface. We live in shadows and often in darkness, all because we do not remove the clutter. God has given us every means to “clean up” our lives. He wants the “SON” to shine radiantly upon us that we too might be a light to the world. He wants us to let the light reflect so that others might be attracted to the brightness and come to Him.

Before cutting the timber, I could see in my mind’s eye what I thought it would look like. But when it was over, the results were astounding. The change was far more dramatic than I had envisioned. How much more so when we allow God to clean the clutter from our lives.