For I Shall Be As A Tree Planted By Water

Trees that are strong enough to brave storms are not grown in hothouses. The strongest tree is not found in the shelter of the other trees in the forest, but out in the open where the winds constantly beat upon it, bend and twist it until it becomes a giant in stature.

 

When we lived in Salida Colorado we had a tree that stood by itself. Every day it greeted me right outside our kitchen eating area. The property we were renting had all sorts of pinion trees on it. Most of them grew close together. The lonely tree, as I began to call it, stood by itself, alone.

 

That tree would prove to be a source of spiritual lessons for me. Not the least of which involved the two doves that seemed to appear every morning to make sure Chuck and I were still there. That's another lesson, I will save for another day. Today, I am thinking of the "lonely tree lessons."

 

As crazy as it sounds, I began to see that the tree and I had a lot in common. There would be days that terrific storms struck that tree. It would twist, turn, wrench and I thought for sure it would be ripped from its roots in the ground. Sometimes the winds would be so strong that it almost seemed as if it would break in half but somehow, against all odds, it survived to see another clear sunny day.

 

I began to see how not only myself but also a whole lot of folks were like that tree. All sorts of terrible things would happen in their lives, and sometimes they seemed to come one right after another, without a minute to sigh or breathe in between. No, there would be time for that later, during those hard times survival was all that mattered and getting through each day alive, fed and with shelter overhead.

 

Spirit spoke to me one day during my meditation and prayer time; "That tree has been buffeted by practically every sort of weather you can imagine. If the tree could speak it might bitterly complain. Should nature listen and stop the storm process? Does the tree look up and say, "Why, why me? What have I done to deserve this?"

 

Ah, I stopped and thought about that. I knew where He was going with that one. He was in the process of strengthening me to the storms that come in life. I could complain all I wanted to, but He had to know that I was strong enough to stand by myself if need be. I wouldn't learn that sitting on the ocean shore surrounded by cabana boys serving my meals.

 

I began to speak up, that is a bad habit of mine, and I like to question authority. I would say things like, "But you just don't know what I am going through, you just don't have a clue! If you loved me this wouldn't be happening to me."

 

One day, after a prolonged dry spell I noticed that the soil around the tree was loosened. Great cracks had opened up and appeared to go deep into the ground. The wounds might have appeared to one as being way too deep to "heal." I thought surely the tree would evidentially dry up and die.  Then in a week or so the hot summer wind brought rain on it's tail and the cracks filled up The moisture reached away down deep even to the trees utmost root.

The sun again shined, new and vigorous life burst forth. The tree began to grow again and I thought, "Yeah, it's rooting!"

 

Spirit began to speak to me, "What if the tree had given up right before the sun shined again? That's what people often do, they have been so buffeted by lives trials that they give up, right before the Sun shines through."

 

I begin to think about the Spiritual giants. I thought about the roads over which they have traveled. They were not the sunny lanes where wildflowers forever bloom, but steep, rocky, narrow pathways where the blasts of hell almost blew them off their feet. The paths where the sharp rock cut the feet, where the projecting thorns scratch the brow, and the venomous snakes hiss on ever side.

 

There are two choices we can make. We can become mature emotionally, able to withstand the storms of life or we can be emotional messes constantly uprooting our lives and the lives of everyone else around us.  In order to become the persons we were created to be, we will have to be trained through some hard times. We will have to be flexible, strong and reliable.

 

Going through some hard times, get yourself a picture of a solitary lone tree and when you just don't think you can take anymore, look at it and say out loud, "What doesn't break me makes me stronger! All of these things are working for my GOOD." 

For We Know That Nothing...No Thing..  is impossible with God