by Erin Wilson: Living Between The Trees

- from my wife and guest blogger Erin Wilson

I was an emotional mess the past Sunday at Randall Church. It didn't help that I've been fighting a head cold and sinus infection for weeks, but oh boy, did I do some ugly crying on Sunday morning!  This Sunday was a beautiful expression of the church being the Church. We got to witness a body of believers coming around some very specific families in our church who needed to be brought before the King as their needs are great.  I love when our church prays together! It is beautiful!  And then we were given the opportunity to meet a very practical financial need for one of those families.

On a very personal note it was a "full circle" moment for me.  A moment when I got to see God's word come alive and his promises ring true. Years ago, Milo and I were taught a giving principle out of the scriptures.  In 2 Cor 8:14 God's word says, "At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need."  We have allowed this principle to guide our giving since we were taught it.  To give out of our abundance, trusting that God, through others, will provide for us in our time of need.  So why was this moment on Sunday so emotional for me? 

Eight years ago, to this very week, we had a church come around us and give out of their abundance in our time of need.  And now, here I was sitting in the pew with the opportunity to give out my abundance to a family in a similar situation with medical expenses and travel expenses mounting.  To be reminded of what others in the church had done for us years before and now to be able to somehow return a portion of that was an emotional role reversal and I knew exactly what God was asking of me.  

God made it very clear to me on Sunday that I was not giving to this family but returning a gift back to God, and I quickly became overwhelmed.  You see, in that moment I received the privilege and honor of being able to take part in the giving. It was hard yet beautiful to feel the tension of wanting to hang onto my abundance but simultaneously realizing just how much I have been given and knowing it was time to let go.  That tension is real, but what good is to have material possessions if we cannot hold them loosely enough that when God says "let go", we can obey as an act of worship.      

Pastor Bryan taught this Sunday on the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden.  He pointed out the image of the tree of life (which God intended for us) and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Adam and Eve ate of that tree sin, pain, hurt, cancer, injustice, death and darkness entered our world.  He spoke about how we as believers are living between those two trees now.  

There is great tension between those trees.  But as I watched our congregation pray for and give to these families on Sunday I could see more clearly the tree of life, what God had intended. In that moment we were a body of believers heading toward the tree of life and bringing restoration to the brokenness that is in this world.  This, is a church that I am proud to be a part of!

May we continue to be people who wrestle with the tension of living between the trees and a people who desperately seek to do our part to repair the brokenness in this world and head toward the tree of life.

Erin Wilson


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