The narra tree is shedding its leaves again, reminding me that another year is drawing to an end. In the Philippines, we only have two seasons: summer and rainy season. But the narra tree is like the other autumn trees, a deciduous tree – its green leaves turn into yellow, then fall one by one starting late-September until not a single leaf is left.
Watching the narra tree lose its leaves everyday, it never fails to get me into thinking about the passage of time.
Years before I surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus, I used to measure the “fullness” of my year in terms of successes, achievements, accomplishments, and acquisitions, both in my cosmetic ingredients business and private life. How many times I traveled, attended seminars and conferences, set trends in the industry, led project developments, attained quotas, improved operations, added assets. Then there were the personal pleasures: bought and worn the latest fashion, acquired jewelry sets, gone to nice places, celebrated with family, been with colleagues, friends, acquaintances, beautified my home and myself.
Yes, I always called those years full – no single day wasted or went idle or unprofitable.
But what is really profitable [advantageous, beneficial, favorable] in the sight of God? What really counts for eternity? With the exception of being with family and friends, I believe there is nothing in my list that would fall into this category.
But when I received the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, gave up my career and followed Him, everything, as in everything, changed. There was no more list to measure the fullness of my year. In fact, the passing of the old year and the beginning of the new one are no longer big things nor do they make any difference to me. What I’m saying is – everyday with the Lord is full [blessed, special] if we choose to look at it that way and thank Him sincerely for it.
In a life that has been totally changed by God where there is more inactivity than achievements or accomplishments, how does one measure the fullness of a year? Actually, I cannot. But maybe I can valuate it in terms of how far I have gone to follow the Lord Jesus? Maybe I can put great value to it by how much I have learned and lived His Word, how often I have drawn to Him and listened to His voice in those moments of rapturous fellowship with His Spirit?
But when I come to really think of it, the days of the year –
– that I have luxuriated in the glorious moments of His healing
– that I have received sweet mercies from His hand despite my mistakes and shortcomings
– that His light has shone upon my dimmed spirit and I warmed in His peace
– that He has listened to my silent cries and pacified my trembling heart
– that I have experienced the comfort of His Spirit even in the most distressing times
– are really beyond measure.
I mean, how could one measure the glory of knowing the sweet, unfailing love of the Savior? A love that covers all my lack, and a grace that is sufficient to satisfy all my needs?
How about the strength He gives when I am in my weakest? The proffered hand ready to raise me up when I fall and can’t get to my feet? The wisdom birthed from excruciatingly painful lessons? The fruit of the Spirit that doesn’t grow on trees but grows only in one’s life when it is firmly attached to the True Vine?
The Lord Jesus, He certainly fills my days.