Friday, April 5, 2013

Growth Opportunities: Life in the Rock

I am amazed everytime we go to the Ouachita Mountains in Oklahoma at the beauty of the landscape.  Every you look there is life.  Dogwood trees are in bloom right now and evergreens are standing tall.  But this particular mountain chain in this location consists of a lot of shale rock.  Shale is a sedimentary rock that contains quartz, mud, flakes of clay and other minerals.  It is an interesting rock to me because out of it, on the mountain side by the river, trees and brush grow! 
To the left is a picture of part of the mountain by the river.  In the summer, the green trees and brush will be so green and beautiful.  The contrast of the emerald greens of summer set against the brownish/black of the shale makes for quite a striking photo as well. 

What amazes me is out of this rock that has no "living" properties; it does not breathe, it does not sleep, it does not eat; grows life.  The first time I noticed the trees and brush were growing out of rock, it reminded me of an old chorus we used to sing in church when I was growing up.

"On Christ the Solid Rock I stand.  All other ground is sinking sand." 

It was a simple chorus with a direct statement of faith.  Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone on which we should build all things.  He is The Way, The Truth, The Life. (John 14:6).  He is our Solid Rock.   If the trees and brush can grow out of, or through, sedimentary much more can we flourish planted firmly in the foundation of Jesus Christ?  He is The Living Rock. 

As believers, we have been grafted into the vine and draw our life from that of the vine. John 15:5:

"I am the Vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."

Being firmly planted in the vine, standing firmly on the Solid Rock, is what will allow us to produce the fruit in our lives that the Word of God says we should produce.  Cut off from the vine, living away from the Rock without that solid foundation, it is not possible to fully produce the good fruit we should. 

Where growth from the shale on the mountain is fascinating and quite beautiful, the fact remains that apart from a source of life, the growth will die.  By the river, the trees and shrubs have a constant water source that is never depleted.  The sun in the sky provides the growth with light that doesn't dim. Just like those trees and shrubs, when we are planted in the Rock, we have a source of Light that doesn't dim in Jesus Christ.  We have a source of Living Water that will never deplete in the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.  He provides us with everything we need to live and to grow healthy in Him.  There is life in the Rock.  Apart from the Rock, we cannot grow.  Apart from the Rock, we cannot live. 

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