Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Devotional ~How a Tree Becomes a Giant, Rooted in Love

So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3b

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.”
Colossians 2:6-7

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

William Cowper ~1774

It requires storms to produce this rooting business. No tree becomes great unless it is transplanted out on a meadow where the winds and storms can get at it. It remains small if sheltered in the forest.
         Out on the meadow it stands to shelter the herds and the flocks. The earth about the tree hardens. The rains do little good for the water runs off.
         But the terrific storm strikes. It twists, turns, wrenches and at times all but tears it out of its place. If the tree could speak it might bitterly complain. Should Nature listen and cease the storm process?
         On and on the storm almost bends it double. It is wrath now. What can such seeming cruelty mean? Is that love? But wait.
         All about the tree the soil is all loosened. Great cracks are opened up away down into the ground. Deep wounds they might appear to the inexperienced. The rain now comes in with its gentle ministry. The “WOUNDS” fill up. The moisture reaches away down deep even to the utmost root. The sun again shines. New and vigorous life burst forth. The roots go deeper, ever deeper. The branches shoot forth. Now and again one hears something snap and crack like a pistol. It is the expansion of the bark of the tree. It is getting too big for its clothes. It is growing into a giant. It is rooting.

"The brightest souls which glory ever knew,
Were rocked in storms and nursed when tempests blew."

Dean Dutton

         This devotional is dedicated to our dear friend, Hank, who is battling a storm called cancer right now.

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