Monday, January 26, 2009

Down but NOT Destroyed

While feeding cattle with my father, I spotted a tree trunk that had fallen near his hay shed. The tree appeared to be dead. I asked my father what had caused it to die. He told me to look carefully. Even though the trunk was lying on the ground, I noticed tiny green leaves emerging from its short limbs.
I began to reflect on lessons the tree had to teach. Many people encounter situations in their lives that seem to "down" them. A cloud of spiritual inadequacy descends upon these believers who so fervently desire to honor God, but experience such difficulty in their endeavor. Yet God delights in taking these seeming failures and chooses to use them beyond what they could imagine.
What causes the tree to continue producing leaves in its poor condition? Its unseen roots are strong and deep enough to sustain the tree.
Daily study of God's Word, time spent in prayer and cultivation of love relationship with Him will put down spiritual roots. In one sense, the tree has been prepared earlier in its existence for this season of hardship.
When in a "downed" situation, take heart and know God has a purpose and will use it to glorify Himself, thank God for His blessings. Grow deep in Him, putting down roots in preparation for whatever may be encountered confident, He is always present.
"Now we have this treasure in clay jars,so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us.We are pressured in every way but not crushed;we are perplexed but not in despair;we are persecuted but not abandoned;we are struck down but not destroyed." (2 Cor. 4:7-9)

---Bernadean J. Gates