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The story of Bamboo … my life!

9 September 2009 10 Comments

Many years ago, when I was contemplating a full time missionary service, I read that the famous evangelist, Paul Rader, was once asked: “Why are the laborers always so few?” He replied: “They can’t seem to be broken fast enough, and God can only use truly broken men and women!”

The writing continued: “”How true! God only uses broken men and women, no others will do! Others are too self-confident in their own strength! God has to break them, melt them and mold them again in the hands of the Potter to make them better vessels! But He won’t force it! The breaking depends upon you, your yieldingness and willingness to be made willing, total humility, which is synonymous with total love, so you’re willing to go anywhere, anytime, and do anything, for anybody, and be nobody, to please Him and help others!”

These words inspired me to give my entire life in full time service to the Lord and others, until about 32 years later He reminded me of them and warned me that He was going to have to break me and remake me into “another vessel” (Jeremiah 18:4), so that I could be fit for the Master’s use and ready for the new ministry that He was going to assign me. To impress upon me what He was about to do in my life, He then led me to read the following:

The Story of Bamboo …

Bamboo

Once upon a time lay a beautiful garden. And there in the cool of the day was the Master of the garden, who went for a walk. Of all the dwellers of the garden, the most beautiful and beloved was a gracious Bamboo. Year after year Bamboo grew yet more beautiful and he was conscious of his Master’s love and watchful delight. Yet he was modest and gentle. Often when Wind came to revel in the garden, Bamboo would throw aside his dignity and dance merrily, tossing and swaying and leaping and bowing in joyous abandon. He would lead the great dance of the garden which most delighted his Master’s heart.

One day the Master drew near to contemplate his beloved Bamboo. With eyes of curious expectancy, Bamboo bowed his great head to the ground in loving greeting.

The Master spoke: “Bamboo, Bamboo, I would use you.”
Bamboo said, “Master, I am ready, use me as you want!”
“Bamboo,” the Master’s voice was grave, “I would be obliged to take you and cut you down.”

cutting A trembling of horror shook Bamboo. “Cut … me … down? Me, whom You, Master, have made beautiful in Your garden? To cut me down? Ah, not that! Not that! Use me for Your joy, O Master, but cut me not down!”
“Beloved Bamboo,” the Master’s voice grew graver still, “if I don’t cut you down, I cannot use you.”

The garden grew still. Wind held his breath. Bamboo slowly bent his proud head. There came a whisper.
Bamboo replied, “Master, if You cannot use me unless You cut me down, then do Your will and cut!”

“Bamboo, beloved Bamboo, I would cut your leaves and branches from you also.”
“Master, Master, spare me! Cut me down and lay my beauty in the dust, but would You take from me my leaves and branches also?”

flowing “Bamboo, alas! If I do not cut them away, I cannot use you.” The Sun hid his face. A listening butterfly glided fearfully away. Bamboo shivered in terrible expectancy, whispering low, “Master, cut away.”

“Bamboo, Bamboo, I would divide you in two and cut out your heart, for if I do not cut so, I cannot use you.”
“Master, Master, then cut and divide.”

So did the Master of the garden took Bamboo and cut him down and hacked off his branches and stripped off his leaves and divided him in two and cut out his heart.

Lifting him gently, he carried him to where there was a spring of fresh, sparkling water in the midst of Master’s dry fields. Putting down one end of Bamboo in the spring, and the other into the water channel in his field, the Master laid down gently his beloved Bamboo.

watering The spring sang “welcome”! The clear sparkling water raced joyously down the channel of Bamboo’s torn body into the waiting fields.
Then the rice was planted and the days went by. The shoots grew. The harvest came. In that day was Bamboo, once so glorious in his stately beauty, yet now more glorious in his brokenness and humility.

growing For in his beauty he was life abundant.
But in his brokenness he became a channel of abundant life to his Master’s world!

“He said unto them, ‘Whoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever will save his life shall lose it; but whoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8:34,35).

“Verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it stays alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.” (John 12:24)

… my life!

Needless to say, this has been the story of my life, especially in these last three years… When I thought that I was doing such a great job for Him, the Lord took me aside to a lonely place, where He had to break me and remake me into a new vessel. A little over a year ago, I suffered two heart attacks, and my heart literally stopped for a few minutes. When I was brought back to life, I saw the need of the “broken hearts”!

While laying there, in “intensive care”, I saw the need of not only the other patients that were in the Cardiologycal Hospital with me, but also the need of the nurses, and of the doctors! The Lord showed me that the whole world is full of hearts that are broken, and that this was going to be my new ministry: “Healing Broken Hearts“!

I now rejoice and am exceeding glad, “for He that is mighty has done to me great things; and holy is His Name” (Luke 1:49).

10 Comments »

  • Jerry Graham said:

    Wow! Renato, what a beautiful story and word picture of God’s use of a broken vessel. This story should be the front-piece of your new ministry. It will truly open doors and touch hearts … and prepare them for healing.
    God bless you and Patrizia,
    Jerry

  • Randy Peck said:

    Dear Renato,

    I second everything that Jerry wrote above. Jerry’s words are prophetic. This story, which is one of the favorite ones I have ever read in my entire life, will become the cornerstone of your ministry. It will be the front piece of your landing page, your e-books, your presentations, and your ministry of Healing Broken Hearts itself.

    What jumped our at me the most is “God only uses broken men and women, no others will do!” God broke you completely and is now restoring you on His Potter’s wheel so that His goodness and His greatness will be manifested through you to heal the broken hearts of thousands, then millions, and finally billions of people around the world.

    You are the most humble person I have ever met in my life. My connection to you in 2009 is my greatest blessing of the entire year.

    Because of your transparency, complete consecrecation to the LORD, and the universality of broken hearts, your blogs will become the most read ones on the planet. As His broken servant, God is using you to change lives to disciple nations. You are preparing the way for the second coming of Jesus.

    To God be the glory, now and forever. He alone is the great I AM.

  • Ben Stewart said:

    Dear Renato,

    Such grace, brokenness and glory revealed in your story. Rebirth always arises from the ashes of our lives. I’m so glad that we have been brought together in brokenness and love in Christ.

    May each breath we continue to take and the legacy of our lives be Christ, only and always.

    Thank you Renato for your daily encouragement.

    Brother Ben

  • Bahamabob said:

    Awesome metaphor. Lay the pipes!! Let’s flow the living water!

    Bob

  • Renato Amato » Blog Archive » WFJ: Not your work, but Mine! said:

    […] you can see how “the parable of Bamboo” has been fulfilled in your life! When you were younger, you enjoyed dancing and singing and […]

  • Deb Smith said:

    Renato:
    I identified with the whole story…and Jeremiah 18 is what the Lord has given me for years. He takes a vessel and remakes it.
    Thankyou for this beautiful story.

    Deb

  • Christian Life Coach - Lynne Lee said:

    Renato, your Bamboo story is a beautiful picture of the way in which God deals with us. I’m glad he made me us into new vessels.

    When the Lord uses us as a vessel to pour things into people’s life I want it be Jesus they receive rather than us. That way they are sure to get redeeming life :)

    You will find more on God’s transforming power here:

    A Closer Walk With God – God’s Trasforming Power

    Be blessed to be a blessing,

    Lynne

  • Renato Amato » Blog Archive » Ref: The woman He is in love with! said:

    […] Using the words of the passages above, this is becoming “a living breathing community of all those who love (Jesus)” and are “being open and available to others around”, by letting the rivers of His living waters through to reach the ends of the world and “heal the hurt and sorrows of the nations”. (See “The story of Bamboo … my life!”) […]

  • Renato Amato » Blog Archive » REF: The turning point… said:

    […] I must confess that these living words of life were hidden in a mystery for me at the time, as I had no clue as to what they might mean for us personally. I still had not yet received what the Lord later revealed to me through “the story of Bamboo … my life“. […]