We've been talking about the Three Trees Model in caregroup. For those of you who are unfamiliar with David Powlison, he works for the Journal of Biblical Counselling and teaches about connecting negative behaviors or feelings with the deeper issues in our hearts, called motives.
It begins with a premise. There are situations in our lives that are "heat"; circumstances that we don't like. My circumstance is a real heat. No joke. My A/C unit is temporarily out of service because the main drain is clogged, so it keeps overflowing out the overflow valve, causing water to leak under the inside unit. And today was our first 100 degree day. Heat. Real heat.
So what are these negative behaviors and feelings? Anger. Because the repair man said between 12-4 pm and its 5 already. They "ran into some problems at the last job and are running behind". I'm sure everyone out there has been the victim of some repair man.
The Three Trees Model teaches that the heat in our lives doesn't necessarily have to produce those negative results or "bad fruit". The three trees are one tree bearing good fruit, one tree dying or "thorns" and the cross. The cross helps us to rejoice in our suffering because we know that Christ has already suffered in our place on the cross, bearing all of our sin and solving our greatest problem. These are called "gospel implications"-- the way that the third tree, the cross, bears on our circumstances. Christ makes it possible for us to respond rightly despite our natural tendencies through his Spirit which is willing to help us in our weakness.
So my weakness is heat. I always get bent out of shape when I'm hot. But more than that, I can be rejoicing, knowing that there is a repair man on the way, a husband who loves me on the way home, and a Father in heaven who care for me and is good to his children.