Clearing out the Sticker Bushes

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4

Sweat dripped down my face, trickling onto the dirt floor beneath me. I was on a mission. The sticker bushes were overgrown, nearly as tall as the garage, but I was determined that nothing would stand between me and clipping the bushes back from the brick wall. We were going to have church!

Has there been a time you were so determined to reach your goal or mission? So determined, it was full speed ahead, no matter the cost or the consequences? There I was, wrestling the sharp spears of nature in shorts and a tank top. Not exactly the ideal clothing for sticker bushes, but what seven year old contemplates those things when on a mission. I was head strong, and focused on finishing. Some parents might refer to me as a “strong willed Child,” but I would rather be called a “warrior in training.”

Every few minutes, I would step from beneath the bushes to gauge the progress. The green waxy leaves were razor sharp, with spearhead tips that pricked my skin. As I tugged and clipped the limbs, they slapped my face leaving scratches and occasional punctures. The bright red berries fell one by one while taming those stubborn wild limbs. The shade prevented grass growth under the bushes, so the dirt floor of my church became a swirling reddish color, almost blood-stained, as the berries were crushed under my feet. Sweat continued pouring down my face and mingled with the dirt and berries, creating a wonderful mixture of imaginary strawberry mud pies.

As the hours passed, my determination remained firmly focused on the task at hand; clear the debris and clip the sticker bushes back before dark. It was close to dusk when the last bushes were clipped and the spearheaded lanky limbs drug out into the yard. Dried blood smeared my arms, and I could feel the sting of cuts on my face and legs from battling the stubborn sticker bushes. But none of it mattered because there was now a refuge, a place for young parishioners, the Sticker Bush Church.

Clearing out the sticker bushes was a lot of manual labor for a young child, but seeing it turned into a place to meet and preach made it all worthwhile. The blood would wash off and the cuts and scratches would quickly heal. Of course, I had no idea that God was placing His plans in motion, and this was the beginning of a journey into my destiny, that He had prepared in advance for me to do.

Looking back on that summer, we all learned valuable lessons from the sticker bushes. The secret meeting place became a weekly gathering of kids to hear the Word of God, jump over trash cans, drink water from a hose, and eat candy wafers. Building the church taught me to follow my dreams and never, ever give up. Little did I know that God was moving on all of our hearts, He was nudging us closer to the greater things he had planned in advance for us to do. He was planting seeds so we would pursue our dreams and passions.

Each of us are born for greatness, but it is God’s greatness! In order for us to achieve what God assigned us to do, we must be in His will. Our hearts must be in alignment with God, which requires, dying to self. Take one day at a time, relying on God for strength and courage. Things may not happen the way we imagined, or when we imagined, but with God, our dreams and passions will happen the way they should happen, in God’s precise timing.

God has a plan and a purpose for your life. God’s Word tells us in Psalms 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” God put the passion and dream inside you, and He never disappoints.

Shaped by Prayer

Lord, take a good look at my heart and show me those things that are hidden. Help me to stay in alignment with Your will and plans. When I get out of alignment with You Lord, let me know immediately. Guard my heart God and help me not to take things so personally when it comes to what others might say. I desire to have a heart that only follows after You. Lord, you already know that I have big dreams and big desires. I know that you have placed some of these in my heart for Your purposes. Take away those that are not from You and show me the ones that are from You. I ask that You would open the doors to those dreams that You have placed in my heart. I ask that You would connect me with the right people who are also part of Your plan. I thank You in advance for open doors of opportunities. You get all the credit God, You are the one that makes all things possible! AMEN.








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