Some of you may have seen me post on social media recently about my new walking regime, where I started walking about a mile in the mornings after work before I get on the street car. On my second day of walking, I noticed this open space with what appeared to be remnants of a tree and as I looked closer my mind immediately went back to what happened.
One day last week we got a forecast for some not-so-good weather. During the night we were expected to have a fair amount of rain and some winds and there was also a tornado warning for another county some distance away from us. I heard the report but didn’t pay much attention to it especially since the time the rain and high winds were supposed to come, I would be in safely at work so I just didn’t worry at all about it.
However, the next morning I heard that the rain and the winds were so bad during the night that some homes lost electric power and a few trees had fallen. On my way out later I saw a tree had fallen and completely blocked the street in front of the building next door. It spanned across the road so that no traffic could pass by and it was such a huge tree it literally blocked your view for quite some distance. According to the concierge of that same building it had happened about 4am and crashed on a car but no one knew if the driver survived. This morning, over a week later, as I walked by and looked at what was left of the tree, my first glimpse, I was still amazed that such a huge tree could come down with winds that didn’t even come during the hurricane season. Right there and then the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, you know, this tree started to be uprooted long before this actually happened. Immediately I saw the spiritual connection.
You would never believe that something was happening below the surface of this tree. It was one of many trees that lined this beautiful street and they all looked so secure, so strong and so sturdy. I’ve walked past these same trees dozens and dozens of times and have admired them not knowing that this was ever a possibility. It’s like many lives we see around us day after day that seem to be doing fine, they have that outward look of togetherness, people who are always busy, some with great careers or they are on promising educational paths, but then winds of adversity come along and many are knocked off their feet. We wonder how could this have happened to someone who had it all together. As I continued to meditate on things I began to understand how just one night or one hour of bad weather didn’t cause this tree to tumble. Every time we had some inclement weather the roots were weakening but no one saw or knew. The winds and rain weren’t selective, other trees I’m sure got battered but only one came down. The fall finally came, I believe, because the roots gave way.
The Word is our foundation, it’s our security against the storms of this life. Not building and strengthening our roots leaves us open to attacks. The Word is what will keep us from breaking apart during a storm.
One of my favorite uncles is a carpenter and as a little girl I watched him build houses and saw him laying foundations. As I recall, a foundation took some time for him to build. He used different types of material and added different strengths of wood to make the foundation of the house secure. In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus said, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rains comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.” So too each time we study and obey the word we’re building and strengthening our roots in Christ. Each time we hear the word and purpose to act on it, we are fortifying our lives against the sure torrents, floodwaters and winds that Jesus said would beat against our house. In the same manner, hearing but not understanding or not having a fertile, willing or obedient heart is like building your house on sand and still hoping everything will work out. These things weaken us and destroy what little roots we have.
If you look closely at the photo above you will see that many trees were left standing.
1 Peter 5: 8 & 9 tells us to “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.” That tells me that it isn’t everyone that the enemy will be able to devour. Some people will be left standing. He is prowling around sending winds of adversity and the one who isn’t grounded in the word is the one who will most likely be blown over.
I want to encourage you today to give God’s word priority in your life. I don’t know where you are in your walk with Him but I know for sure, just like myself, you need the Word. I want change, you want change, but before the Word can bring any change or hold any value in our life decisions, we have to recognize how important it is. Commit to the Word. Purposely set aside time to read and study. A few minutes in the morning or at night while you’re sleepy (guilty many times 🙂 ) won’t bring the transformation you need. Saturate your mind with the Word so that it is fully renewed. Make time for the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you. If possible at all, designate a time and place to meet with God, daily. Even though 5 minutes a day is better than nothing, it won’t bring the mind renewal that is needed to change us from the inside out. The more time you give to the Word, the more you will hear and the more you hear the more understanding will be given. Mark 4: 24 & 25. It’s not enough to just hear the Word from the pulpit or read what someone else has written. These are all good but we need to hear from God for ourselves and His primary way of speaking to us is through His Word by His Holy Spirit.
I can tell you personally that the Word has been my saving grace. I was a very weak person emotionally for many years but I have been strengthened on the inside and continue to receive strength daily from the Word. It has brought me from a life of no purpose to one of fulfillment. Yes, there are still things and changes that I desire in this life, but I am so content and happy in Jesus that I already feel as though I have attained it all.
None of us can escape the storms of life. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, our deliverer said, in John 16:33 “In this world ye shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” How do we overcome? We overcome by the Word. When hurricane force-like winds of frustration come, tornado warnings of bad economic times, and Tsunami waves of worry over your children, your job, your health, your marriage and even your future come, only the person who has built their house on the solid rock of the Word can stand.
“A healthy tree is able to move (flex) in the wind, which is exactly what prevents it from breaking apart during a storm (www.savatree.com).”
You don’t have to be destroyed because of a storm in your life but like a healthy tree you are able to flex in the wind. You may sway a bit under pressure, some fear may initially come because of a doctor’s report, you may cry when it seems as though things are getting worse instead of getting better. But If you have built your house on the solid foundation of the Rock, instead of worrying you can soar above your problems and use that stormy time to glorify God and encourage someone else who may be drowning.
For many years as christian I paid lip service to God. I wasn’t seeking Him with my whole heart, just reading and quoting a few verses here and there. Then I got sick and tired of the hypocrisy and started to prioritize God’s word in my life and as I dug into the word He began to reveal Himself to me. I am no more special to Him than you are and He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb11:6). We can have no permanent change without the Word of God. Positive thinking and good associations can only take us so far.
The life of God is in His word and it’s available to anyone of us who is willing to take the time to get to know Him. He wants to be known of you, do you want to know Him?
Pause and Ponder
Where do you stand when it comes to Scriptures? Do you just go through life making your own way and hoping God would bless it? If you have never taken the time to regularly study the Word you can start now. Don’t feel guilty if you haven’t been reading and studying the Holy Scriptures, the past is the past and there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Make the commitment today to start afresh and I invite you to come back here and share what this life-giving Word is doing for you.
Father, we are so grateful today for your mercies. Thank You that everyday you give us brand new mercies for whatever we would face. We thank you for Your Word that is our hope in time of need and today we make a new commitment to devote more time to hear from you. We are grateful for Your Holy Spirit, our teacher, and we open our hearts with eagerness and excitement to hear from you. In Jesus name. Amen.
Blessings and thank you for reading.