As I write this, I have just returned from walking my dog in the midst of a storm that has been sweeping across the UK. I was walking in a forest area (which was probably not very wise in the midst of a storm!), and the Lord started speaking to me as I watched the trees being buffeted by high winds. Those with deep strong roots were able to bend and sway without being affected. Those with shallow roots were more likely to be uprooted, and those that were rotten or dead on the inside were the ones that were liable to snap and break. The debris on the ground was mainly of dead twigs and branches.
It made me think about us, and the way we withstand the storms of life. If we are rooted deeply into Jesus Christ, drawing from the ‘sap’ of His Spirit in us, we will be able to take any buffeting that comes our way, without falling. Psalm 46:4 speaks of ‘The holy place where the Most High dwells`, and goes on to say that: ‘God is within her, she will not fall’. This refers to the city of God, but it is also true for us, as our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and therefore a place where the Most High dwells.
Any disease or rottenness in a tree can make it vulnerable, and it is the same for us. That is why healing is so important for all of us. The first three verses of Isaiah 61 speak of the healing and restoration that Jesus wants to bring into all of our lives. We are told then that: ‘They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendour’.
The people referred to in this verse are those who have received His healing. This enables them to become strong trees of righteousness and to display God’s glory to the world. Oaks are the strongest trees we have (in Britain, anyway), and they are best able to withstand storms and even forest fires.
What about us? Let’s make sure we are rooted and grounded in Jesus and in the truth of His word, and that we have rid ourselves of any rottenness on the inside. If we do this, we will be better able to withstand the storms that will inevitably come our way in this world.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are my refuge and strength, and that even though storms will come my way, I need not fear, because You are with me. Help me to be deeply rooted in You and in Your word, so that nothing will make me fall. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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