Clinging to the One who makes us strong.
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This tree fascinates me. It stands out from the trees around it. It’s taller, stronger, and more beautiful. The bark displays magnificent detail declaring years of famine, storms and droughts as well as sunshine, soft rain, and fertile soil. It has been a home and refuge for squirrels, birds, insects and other creatures.
The tree is old, but the rock it clings to is older. The roots of the tree are wrapped in and around the rock, both clinging to it and supported by it. As the tree ages, it becomes increasingly intertwined with the rock which stabilizes it and protects it from the perils of erosion. Over time, the tree and the rock have become one.
The relationship David had with God was similar to the relationship of this tree and rock. In his psalm David cries out,
“From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalm 61:2 New American Standard Bible
When David needed strength or safety, he ran to God for protection. This is what we can do as well. When the storms come and blow around us, when the rain threatens to erode the ground we stand on, we know that we are anchored to Jesus Christ, our rock. He keeps us steady and strengthens us. As we grow up in Him, our roots become more deeply intertwined with Him, giving us the ability to stand firm and minister to others as well.
I hope that both the difficult and the lovely things that have occurred in my life are somehow displayed to others around me. Like the way I see this tree, people can see my gnarly places, the scars and things that are injured or twisted, mixed with the strength I’ve gained, the heights I’ve reached, and the way I minister to others. I hope they will see it all together as something beautiful, and know that it is because my roots are anchored on the Rock that is higher than I.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO