Friday, July 8, 2011

When Life is Easy

When life is easy, you have no reason to grow deep. I've often heard the analogy between our lives and trees. But I had a chance to see it recently.

A pile of my father's kin was gathered at my uncle's house on a lake. Well, not a lake: The Lake. He is privileged to be the keeper of several of God's acres of land at that beautiful spot.  It boasts massive fish, turtles, frogs, snakes, trees, egrets, flowers, ticks, deer, ducks, bushes, tiny fish and a host of other lovely creatures.  

A storm blew in on our last day there. And blow it did. It howled with fierce determination. When the sound of hail pounding on the window woke me up, I rolled over to cover my son's body so that if the glass broke it wouldn't fall on him. This wasn't a sissy storm. When it cleared we peered through the unbroken window to survey the damage.

Leaves and branches were scattered all about, of course. The neighbor's dock broke, a cable snapped and pulled it toward shore. And a tree that is more than four stories tall was lying on its side.

I had my sister stand beside the base of the tree to provide some perspective on how big it was. Though she has stubby little legs, she is still considered "normal" height for a woman.

Here's a perspective from the trunk side. There was no way to get a picture of its former height, it was too tall. But guessing it at 40 feet is conservative.

It was such a reminder that the hard times help us grow our roots down deep. This tree was so close to the lake that it just sent its roots out sideways. It never had reason to go down, the ground was always so moist around it. Its life was too easy.

Jesus, help me remember not to whine when life is hard. Help me not to despair, but to stretch my roots down deep into You. I don't want to be killed and cut for fire wood after a mighty, though short, storm. May I be a strong tree that sings your glory while providing shade and nourishment for my family. Amen.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

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