Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Division is Not Always Bad

"Pray for unity, come against division"...that's been a prayer for years that I have heard and agreed with.  Especially with the many ways we find to divide ourselves from one another, through denominations, political stances, sin, and belief systems.  But you know, I think it's important to remember that division is not always bad.

Why talk about division?  After all, we are on the heels of Easter Sunday, the one holiday in the Church which really ought to unify us all the most.  Oh...because I've been out getting my hands in the dirt.  No, literally.  See?

(image above by RoseKate: )

I've got these plants.  I'm not sure what they are.  Their old leaves and stem leftovers look like they are some sort of lily.  I've been told that they are a kind of wildflower and have blue blooms.  Sounds nice.  I'm not sure about all that, but what I have discovered is that they are a kind of bulb, and haven't been messed with in years.

Now, I'm no amazing gardener, but I do know that bulb plants are one of those flowers that need to be divided.  After they're all through with their blooming (somewhere else on the web they can give you specifics about this), you dig them up, and find that they're tuber like roots have multiplied over the year.  So you divide them.  And then in the fall, you replant them, separated so that they can multiply again.

The plants I am digging up haven't been divided in many long years, maybe never.  It has created this congested root mass.  They still bloom, but all in one massive clump.  So now I get the fun of digging them up, dividing them, replanting a whole bunch of them in other places and sharing them with anybody who wants them.  My whole place is going to look so much better for this division, and I'll bet the plants will do better, too!

Sometimes, God brings division intentionally.   Twice in the Bible that I can think of, off the top of my head.  In the Old Testament, He "divided tongues" at the Tower of Babel.  If you read the story, you find He did it intentionally because the people hadn't followed His directions about "going out into all the earth and multiplying".  He changed their languages to kinda force them to do His directions. 
 (Image of Tower of Babel by Poopgoblyn:

Then, in the New Testament, there was division in the Early Church between Paul and Barnabas.  They were two early missionaries, both good guys, but they had a disagreement (being human and all).  They had been traveling together for quite some time but this disagreement wasn't something that they could resolve without separating.  You might think this was a terrible thing, but it wasn't!  God used it, like He does.  He multiplied them through their division--now that's some delightful backwards math!  Paul and Barnabas both picked up new traveling buddies and ended up reaching twice as many places.

(Image of Paul Writing by eikonik: )

I just think that's incredibly encouraging.  God is so good at that sort of thing; taking what looks like a mess and turning it into a wonderful thing.  He sure has done that in my life a lot.  I guess it's just good to know that the next time something divisive comes along in our lives, it could be God allowing it to happen.  Why?  Not to punish, or sadden.  He's bringing division in order to bring multiplication.  It's a good thing!  It's going to make your life so much more beautiful!

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