It was a simple post on Facebook by a friend:
“Nothing like going out to dinner only to come home to
your 30 ft tall tree lying across the street.”
Just like that…unexpectedly, the tree fell over
and crashed to the ground.
Upon further investigation, they found that the tree – healthy looking with green leaves on the outside – had completely rotted inside.
There wasn’t enough IN it to sustain it.
I joked that there must be some kind of life lesson there. But is it a joke? What about us? Do we have enough IN us to keep us standing upright?
Or do we simply look good on the outside, while slowly – minute by minute – we are wasting away on the inside?
God tells us we have enough...
1 John 4:4 “…the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 “…my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
With our mouths we accept with a yes that seems sincere and heartfelt. On the outside we exhibit beautiful foliage…on the inside, we are dead.
We sink in the mire of our pasts…surely we can’t be forgiven of everything – especially “that” – but listen to what God says:
1 Jn. 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
We drown in the rapids of our present daily life, constantly worrying and we find ourselves making deals – “Lord, just get me through this and I promise…” – but read Matthew 6:25-34 and see what Jesus tells you.
We desperately grasp at the prospect of our future: will we ever *really* receive the desires of our heart? Listen to these beautiful promises from God:
Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
It seems to me that we’ve made our Great God very small. Our mouths say that we believe, but our hearts remain hollow. We have become infested with lies and we have believed the “one in the world” over the promises of God.
As a result, we have come crashing down to the ground, much like my friend’s tree. People stare in wonderment, thinking “how could that happen? It (he/she) seemed just fine!” Ahh, but look there…it’s that little dark spot that starts in the center and slowly eats it’s way all the way through, until we can no longer stand on our own feet.
Unlike that tree, though, when we come crashing down (and most of us do at one time or another) we have the assurance of renewed life. It’s not a one-time deal either…it’s a forever deal. God is always there to help us, over and over and over, when we approach with sincere hearts.
…doesn’t leave us
…doesn’t forsake us
…goes with us every step of the way
We have to trust Him. We cannot try to understand his ways (Isaiah 55:8) and we most certainly cannot try to understand things from our very limited perspective (Prov. 3:5-6)
In my own life, things have not always been pretty, or easy, or good. However, in retrospect I can see where God has had his hand on me through it all, protecting me, loving me, teaching me (oh, how tough love can hurt!).
It is this knowledge that I now have, from those experiences when I was less mature, that encourage me to continue to move through this messy life; and when things get especially difficult, I know to lean all the harder into His wisdom, love and guidance.
So stand tall and beautiful, firmly rooted in His love. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of sound mind.” Those are not characteristics that correlate to being weak, empty, or hollow. YOU are filled solidly and stand firm because God’s Spirit lives in you. Reach your arms to Heaven and keep growing!
“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.”