Like a light in my world, I was fading. Searching for something out there I could touch and breathe, I wanted a passion. They say everyone has a talent, but I wasn't sure how I reslly fit in. I have read the advice given by creatives. That is what they call them now, not artists. I guess it leaves room for open boundaries. They talked about not focusing on other creatives and their abilities. It all said to hone in on your own vision and passions. I still had no idea what this meant for me.
Have you thought about the symbols used by God? He visually takes you on a journey of discovery throughout the Bible. Whether it is through parables, visions, prophets, or actual structures. His holiness and wisdom far surpasses our ability to understand, so He comes to our level with metaphors and pictures. I find this quite fascinating and sort of like a puzzle.
I wanted to understand the tabernacle in the wilderness scene a little bit more. I thought that if I was going to understand salvation, I was going to have to take this by the ears and dissect carefully. I wanted to know what each piece of furniture meant. I wanted to know what God was saying to me through His visuals. There was the sacrificial altar, the laver, the table of show bread, and altar of inncense. All of them spoke to me about what God is and was doing for me. What got my attention though was the candlesticks. Made completely of pure gold, branches with seven bowls of olive oil to light the room, and almond blossoms.... what? I don't remember any blossoms. Why did no one tell me about these? Molded around the bowls of light were these flowers that I had no idea existed.
Ya, it all sounded extravagant and detailed. I read over and over the description in Exodus trying to understand. My thoughts wondered and I thought, "why did God put almond blossoms on a candle stick?" "of all things in nature this is the one thing that shows up? Besides the lamb and goat of course." I was intrigued. Then I really started spinning my brain, I thought "where else are there almond blossoms in the Bible?" "what can I learn about them?"
I googled almond blossoms and found that in Hebrew it means "to hasten" or "waken". I read on and also found that almond blossoms show up in the dead of winter on bare tree branches. I felt the promise and positivity ringing in my heart. I saw the struggle to survive despite the cold. I could see the color shining in the bleakness of doubt. I understood then that God was talking about a flower that is alive and ready despite the dead life of winter. Wow. But wait there is more.
The candle sticks also have something special about them. Made of one talent of solid pure gold they represent how we each are given an equal portion of time. That time, once given in complete submission to God, must be spent where He desires and for what He is aiming to accomplish. This I found at the back of my study Bible and I wanted to understand where this idea came from. I thought about the fact that almond blossoms also show up in the story of Aaron and how God chose him to be the high priest. The elders of the people and those on their side had just challenged Mose and Aaron's positions. Their jealousy and desire to take on some of the responsibility led to trajedy and they were all swallowed up into the earth.
At this point God had several men provide their staff and wait for a sign from Him as to who should be the high priest. The next morning Aaron's rod was covered in blossoms and almond nuts. I used to think this was just some supernatural sign, nothing more. But God goes on to tell the people that they need to keep the staff in the Ark of the Covenant as a reminder. They should never forget that only God can designate responsibilities of His importance. Only He can call who he wants. We cannot stand back and wish for someone else's position or talent. We must wait on God for our OWN position and responsibility. We have no idea what is more important than the next.
My mind at this point was going wild. Here were two examples placed on the almond blossom that would help define our responsibilities in this life. It helped me discover my purpose and focus. The world can go on and tell me that, yes, we cannot focus on everyone else and their abilities. But as a Christian I have a second level in this position. Not only should I not desire someone else's ablities, I should only be focusing on what God wants me to do for Him. Not on my own needs and desires. Die to self, Paul calls it.
In this age of selfish ambitions I cannot stress more about how we should really be looking to God for guidance. I still do not know exactly what God wants me to do to further His kingdom, but He has put a fire in my soul that wants to develop what I individually can offer. I am a vessel, a light in the darkness, a witness and a like a city on a hill. While I have been sitting around wallowing in my own complaints and pains, God has been trying to tell me that I too can be different and draw all men/women to Him.
Oh, and along with those almond blossoms are the bowls of olive oil. That is a whole other conversation. Let the Holy Spirit lead you.