I posted on Facebook this morning about this tree that stands in my front yard. Two weeks ago as I packed up my cats and kissed my husband good bye, I took one last look at that tree. I wondered if it would still be standing when I returned, knowing it would take the brunt of the hurricane that was looming off shore threatening my city… my home.
I love this tree. The first moment I saw it I was captivated by its beauty. Perfectly shaped, strong and tall, providing shade under its proud branches.
Now, two weeks later, I have driven through the wind and flood ravaged city to return to my home. The fact this house remains untouched by the hurricane is a faith builder for me. Oh, how I prayed for our home to be spared, and the vision God granted me of Angels standing guard over it was a source of peace. Here I am, sitting in my home, surrounded by neighborhoods that didn’t fare so well, and I know that I am blessed.
So, what is it about this tree that made it able to withstand that storm?
I have been thinking about the importance of being rooted. If this tree had a weak root system, it would have weak branches and the storm that crept through would have toppled it. Now I look at it and I see how the winds have affected the branches, stripping them of their leaves. I see the debris and leaves and branches from other trees all around it, yet there it stands – strong and proud.
I understand what this tree has been through. I have been through a few hurricanes in my lifetime and they have left scars on my soul. Yet, here I stand. I have been tossed to and fro from the winds of heartache many times. Yet, here I stand. I have questioned my purpose and wondered why the comfort and shade I provide for the world is so limited; what would it be like for a moment to be a cloud and provide shade for a larger area? Yet, here I stand.
I am rooted. While this tree is rooted to the earth and is fed by the water from the sky, I am rooted in the Word of God and I am fed by Living Water. But, roots are roots and without them we cannot sustain life. Without roots we have no way to retain the water that nourishes us. Without roots we cannot hold firm when the winds of life blow. Without roots we are weak and easily moved.
My root system was established as a child and has continued to grow stronger and wider each year. I tried to run from my roots after a particularly bad storm. For nearly 10 years I worked to disconnect myself from my root system. I wanted to be free, like a cloud, but I never got far. Someone would speak life to me and sprinkle a little Living Water over me and it would pull me back to my roots. Then I would try to run again. Over and over this continued until finally I opened my eyes enough to see the beauty of my roots, and I stopped running, stood up and allowed my roots to feed my spirit once again.
Now I stand like this tree: tall, strong, proud of my roots. I try to feed my roots daily with the Word of God and Living Water making them stronger all the time.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
How is your root system? Is it weak or is it strong? What are you feeding it?
I pray you are feeding your roots Living Water, for they will hold you firm in the storm.