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New Life: A Guest Blog by Don Goulding

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A word from Curt

I’m in the Ugandan Bush this week with Charlie Bailey and Shane Wilber.  Pray for the Kakwa People Group that we’re working with.

I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Don Goulding.

Don is a writing friend who serves on the island of Fiji. He is a wonderful devotional writer.

Enjoy!

New Life

I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20 NET_FL)

 

We camped in Africa’s Zambezi Valley surrounded by hyenas, crocodiles, and lions.

The creation that most arrested my attention, however, was a tree with deep-green leaves pressing into the sky.

Two trees melded into one. The canopy held clumps of leaves that looked tired compared to the rest. Fat shoots ran down the length of the original trunk and fanned out toward the soil.

Our host explained the tree was a strangler fig. It began as a common acacia, however, figs grow around their host taking over nutrients and water until they assume the shape of the old tree. It became a verdant habitat for everything from honeybees to monkeys.

My old life mirrored the homely acacia.

It was a second-rate existence.

Then the Spirit blew his seed into the axis of my branches, the hollow point of my greatest need. The gospel germinated and roots stretched out, found the Word, and drew up truth.

A new form of life began to grow on top of the old. I still have my unique shape, but now my life is abundant.

Tufts of the original me still poke out.

They agree in theory the fig self is better, but they won’t volunteer for the upgrade.

Each decision branch, thought twig, and word leaf must be choked and re-grown.

It’s a slow but much needed strangulation of a lesser me.

The fig me stands tall and beautiful, however, there is no room for pride in the re-created tree, or in its fruit, or in the habitat it provides to the hurting.

The new life of the fig is the life of Jesus and the boast is in him.

Prayer: Jesus, take over and live strong through me.

Don Goulding

donjgoulding@gmail.com

Operation Foundation operationfoundation.org.fj

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About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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