Early in spring the Gardener plants a tree by the river. He promises the tree growth. The tree drinks the water from the stream, eats the nutrients in the soil, absorbs the rays from the sun and breathes in the air.
Later in the season the Gardner plants more trees. Throughout the summer more are planted by the same river.
At the end of the year the Gardner examines the trees, from the most recent to the first.
They all grew to be the same height with the same amount of foliage. The first tree asks the Gardener, “Shouldn’t I have grown more than the ones you planted last month?”
The Gardner responds, “Friend, you grow into a beautiful tree. What is it to you how tall I allowed the others to grow? Can’t I do with that which is mine as i choose?”
This is from a sermon illustration I used for my sermon based on Matthew 20:1-16.
“I AM the bread of life.” Come to Me if you are hungry, I will give you manna from heaven.
“I AM the light of the world.” Come to Me if you are in darkness, I will show you eternal life.
“I AM the door of the sheep.” Come to Me if you are lost, I will give you a family of true bliss.
“I AM the good shepherd.” Come to Me if you are weary, I will give you rest and guard against your foes.
“I AM the resurrection and the life.” Come to Me if you are dead, I will set your spirit alight with the Holy Spirit.
“I AM the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
“I AM the vine and you are the branches.” Be rooted in Me and I will bestow unto you the fruit of My labour.
These are partially my paraphrase of Jesus Christ’s message in the Gospel of John.
Free will has been given to all of God’s creatures in one form or another. With our free will we are trapped in a constant cycle of cause and effect. Every action that is performed, no matter how minute, has a consequence.
Over my years chatting with non-believers on the nature of God, the above is always thrown out as irrelevant or unfair. These same individuals also argue that they do not want a dictator-God.
Here is the contradiction of their philosophy:
God has given us free will to choose to believe in Him or to reject Him. God does not want to force any one to do anything, but if they want God’s gift of eternal life then they must exercise their free will and choose to believe in a Loving God who freely gave Himself on the Cross for the sins of His creation. They want God’s gift without making the choice.
God made us in His image please stop trying to limit God by making Him in your image. By confining Him to our understanding we miss out on the most wonderful gift of all, God’s mercy and love. A painting cannot comprehend its artist, nor can a pebble stop the river.
We can never fully understand why God gave us free will, or why certain things happen as they do. If we trust in the only never-changing Wisdom, that is God, we can live with a peace of mind. Life will always throw us hardships – it is how we use our free will to deal with them that tells us who we truly are.