Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Set Apart

His roots set him apart.
I noticed the unusual tree right away. His knobby knees in the air, he appeared to be sitting on a rock at the edge of the trail -- a tree in "the thinker" pose in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains.

I played with the personification awhile and wondered what trees would think about. Was he sitting there thinking of sending down deeper roots? Was he enjoying the view -- the beautiful ribbons of smoky blue-gray ridges stretching for miles in the distance? Was he taking a few moments to be still and listen to his Creator? Maybe he was longing for a weary hiker to join him on the rocks for lunch in the shelter of his shade.

I thought of this tree with tenacious roots that held him securely near the top of the ridge where the ferocious wind blows. His roots had sustained him through many storms. Obviously, they stretched deep enough to give him life. He was thriving here on the ridge near Clingman's Dome, the highest point on the Appalachian Trail. 

I first noticed this unusual tree because his exposed roots set him apart.

I hope to be known and recognized by my roots, too.

God, let my faith set me apart. My identity is in you and with strong roots I am connected to you, abiding in you, living on your strength instead of relying on my own. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blessed is the One Who Trusts

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord...
On our recent drive across South Dakota, my eyes were drawn to one healthy tree standing alone in the vast plains. It was the only thing green for miles, it seemed, because it was sinking its roots down deep for refreshing.
"But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." -- Jer. 17:7-8 NIV
It was precious family time with my mom and dad, as they didn't want to make the drive themselves. We stopped at an overlook and I took this picture. Back on the road, the four of us talked a long time about how God sustains in unbelievable ways when we trust Him. We all could identify with having seen God's refreshment through hard times when we kept our focus on Him. It often required waiting, but as we looked back, God was always lush and generous in His answers.

I am so blessed to have family and friends that trust God, too. I am not a lone tree in the desert. I can flourish because others have helped me grow my roots deep through the years.

Thank you, Lord. My confidence and sustenance comes from you. Even in the droughts and discouragements of life, you have the power to keep me flourishing. I will abide with you forever.