While we drive, a lot of times I will just be gazing out the window looking at the scenery. Last week, I kept noticing trees that looked like they were barely holding on, but still looked like they were living. We were never in a spot where I could stop and get a picture, but another opportunity came, this little tree was right next to the truck.
Maybe the tree has been speaking to me because I have felt so much like it I think the tree must feel. It has just been one of those months where I feel the weight of the world around me. I know that it is not my burden to carry, I know God has it. Still, there are times when things feel so personal that I can’t help be feel like the weight is bringing me down. I have felt raw and exposed, tears come easily and unexpectedly. I have learned to sit in the moment, but it doesn’t change how lopsided things feel.
Three weeks ago, I got some rough news that my heart is not ready to hear. I am still standing in faith for a miracle, but two weeks ago when I started writing this, I really felt like this tree. I know my roots are deep, I know I am still grounded in Christ, but I felt like I could barely stand. I honestly could not speak the words I had heard, so allowed the text message to speak to those I needed to pass along the information.
This little tree had also been cut. I am not sure if it was to clear the roadway, for firewood, or another purpose. Regardless, it had been cut. I definitely feel like the enemy has tried to cut me. I know it could also be God’s pruning, just like there could have been a legitimate reason for the tree’s branch to be cut. Right now though, I see the enemy’s hand at play, not God. Sickness and death are not God’s way of trying to teach me something. God is still in control, but the enemy has tried to cut away at my strength these past few weeks.
Despite feeling like the first tree, I know that I can’t go by how I feel. My strength is in the Lord, not my own. So despite feeling like I am barely standing, I know that I am more like these little trees. These trees are growing on the inside of the cone of a volcano. The ground surface is almost vertical in some spots. They are growing strong. The seeds were planted despite the adversity. The mineral rich soil became a place where new life could form after it had weathered away the burnt ash.
There will always be things that come against me, in the natural and in the spiritual. There will be things that try to weigh me down. The enemy will try to cut me off and down, even trying to convenience me that it is God’s pruning not his evil work. Fire and brimstone will clear a path and make it look like all is lost. There will be times I am barely standing.
But the Lord has planted me. He has given me roots. He has caused me to grow. He produces fruit in me. I was never made to stand on my own, I stand in Him. I am more than an overcomer through Him.