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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Do You Have Moss?

     During our Thanksgiving vacation I took pictures of moss hanging from my in-laws orange trees.  I felt something stirred inside of me as I looked at these moss covered trees and I knew there was a message I needed to see and understand.  So, I've spent the last three weeks contemplating moss, Spanish moss to be exact.

     Spanish moss is not actually related to mosses or lichens as many suppose because of it's name.  It's an air plant therefore it will die if pulled off and dropped to the ground.  It has no roots and soaks up moisture from the air around it.  It is hardy enough to withstand periods of drought by going dormant for a season.  For support and access to moisture and nutrients, it's host is usually a tree close to water, or in rainy or misty areas.  It's main method of spreading itself is by the winds.  It is not parasitic in that it does not tap into the trees resources and yet it's presence can cause the host great harm.  You see as it takes the moisture out of the air it grows and increases in size and weight and spreads.

     The first danger in allowing moss growth on the trees is that as it grows and spreads it begins the process of  blocking out the sunlight.  Without the touch of sunlight the tree's leaves are incapable of creating nourishment, they are no longer capable of photosynthesis.  Over time, as the moss spreads and blocks more and more leaves from the sunlight it will begin to cause malnourishment.  This malnourishment will cause the second danger.  The second danger is the stunting of the proper growth of fruit and eventually the inability to produce fruit.  Danger number three is, as the moss grows and spreads, it will place stress and strain on an already weakened tree.  That stress and strain will begin to break it's branches.  And lastly, the fourth danger is a sudden one.  As storms and heavy rains pour down it gives the moss an over abundance of moisture that it readily soaks up thus tripling it's weight.  This sudden increase in heaviness or weight can cause sudden breaks and severe damage to the tree.  With enough broken branches and a lack of proper nourishment and fruit production the tree is already in the process of dying.  Without proper care, this tree WILL die.  

WE    ARE    LIKE    THAT    TREE!

Psalms begins with a reference to a Godly man being like a tree. 

Psalms 1:1-3 (Easy Read Version)
(1)  Great blessings belong to those who don't listen to evil advice, who don't live like sinners, and who don't join those who make fun of God.
(2)  Instead, they love the LORD'S teachings and think about them day and night.
(3)  So they grow strong, like a tree planted by a stream-- a tree that produces fruit when it should and has leaves that never fall. Everything they do is successful.

As a child of God you are a tree whom He has planted by THE streams of living water.  All that you need for growth and abundant life is constantly available to you here.

     The moss in our lives is carried mainly, but not solely, on the wind.  There are winds that come into our lives varying in strength and duration.  These winds can push and knock us around and yet the strongest winds are not always the ones that drop the pieces of moss on us.  All this moss needs is the tiniest crevice in which to rest for it to begin to grow.  At this point it doesn't even look dangerous.  This moss may be little words said in jest, or verbal jabs, or just one hurtful memory or offense taken that we've given a place to rest. 

     Other times it's not the wind but a "little birdie" that has decided to take up roost in your branches who brings the moss in.  The "birdie" daily goes and brings more to build it's nest... all the while the danger grows and spreads.  These "little birdies" are the gossipers and back biters and false friends who YOU have given access to your ears.  They are constantly dripping negativity into your life.  

     As that tiny piece of moss begins to grow, multiply and spread and as "little birdies" bring more in... the moss begins to create a shadow, a place in your life where the sonlight is harder to see.  Those places are now in danger.  When the "leaves" of your tree begin to find it harder and harder to reach the sonlight then your growth slows down.  This makes "you" more susceptible to injury and illness, it weakens your faith.  In this state it becomes more and more difficult to produce spiritual fruit.  Now when storms invade your life this moss gains strength in that it's weight triples.  Unless you can get free of it, your already weakened faith takes more damage and you break under it's weight.  Now remember, this moss is an air plant, so it takes it's nourishment from the air, ... the water and nutrients it needs to grow is in your atmosphere.  So... 

what is in your atmosphere will either cause it to live and grow or go dormant.

What is in your atmosphere?  What is it you listen to?  What do you allow to be spoken?

What are you speaking?

Notice, I said go dormant, I did not say die.  The only way to truly free a tree from Spanish moss is to care for and watch over it daily.  Any moss that is found must be cut and stripped away and dropped to the ground.... this is where it dies.... once it has been removed.

What is the moss in your life?

What things physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually
feed and nourish the moss in your life?

What are the things that clutter your life
and hinder you from seeing the sonlight?

Are you ready to let the Master care and watch over you?  Are you willing to allow God to be your caretaker?  To daily cut away what stunts or stops your growth?  To prune back your branches so you can bring forth a bounty of fruit?  Are you ready to let him remove the things that clutter up the surfaces of your life?  Will you allow Him to get down to the real you?

        • Lord, 
          I want to be that strong tree that bears it's fruit in due season, whose leaves never fall, and who is successful in all I do.  Please find the moss in my life, the things I've let spread, all the pieces, even the little ones and remove them.  Remove the hindrances to a strong relationship with you.  Teach me to not listen to evil advice.  Teach me to not live like those who have rejected you.  Create in me an appetite and love for your word that I would live it all the days of my life.

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