“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Col. 2:7 Message Bible
Today I was thinking about a tree I once purchased. It was a weeping willow tree, I absolutely love weeping willow trees, and they remind me of the place we lived growing up. Through that tree, God showed me many things. I want to share some of those things with you today. Let me take you back a few years and share the story of my tree with you.
One day I was at a plant nursery. I was looking for flowers for planting in our flower beds. I noticed behind the building there was a sad looking weeping willow tree. As I said I have loved weeping willow trees since I was a child. I walked over to look at the weeping willow tree, it appeared dead.
I asked the owner about the tree and why it wasn’t with the other plants. I wanted to know why it was cast aside. He told me it was almost dead. I said ‘how much is it?’ He said ‘oh, it’s not worth much, you can have it for five dollars.’ So, I bought the little tree and took it home. My family thought I had lost my mind. Little did I know what God would teach me through that little, lifeless tree.
Well, I planted my twig (you couldn’t really call it a tree) and I began to speak life to it. Every day I would speak to my tree and call it strong and tall. I also planted it where water would reach it every time it rained. I knew it would need nourishment from the rain. Oh, how I pampered my tree. And it grew. It began to grow at a rate that amazed me. It amazed everyone. People would say ‘is that the little dead twig?’ And I would smile and say ‘yes, it is.’ So my tree grew into a strong weeping willow tree.
One day, my daughter and I were out of town shopping and I received a call to tell me that we had had a severe storm at our house and it destroyed the weeping willow tree. I was told that the roots as well as the complete tree had come out of the ground. I was told we would have to chop it up and haul it off. By now the tree was a year or so old. I began to drive home, it was an hour drive to my house from where I was. I began to talk to God about my tree and how I had spoken life into it and how it had grown strong, and I refused to allow it to be taken out by a storm.
I called to let them know I was on my way to try to save it. I was told it would do no good, even if I could save it, it would be so weak after the storm damage that it would never survive and thrive. But I continued home to save my tree. I knew God was showing me something about surviving and even thriving after a storm.
When my daughter and I arrived home, sure enough, the tree was out of the ground completely, roots and all. And it was a big tree by this time, about 8 or 9 feet tall, maybe more. While the storm was still raging, my daughter and I tied a rope around that tree and began to pull it up and place its roots back in the ground. Honestly, I didn’t think we could do it, but we did. We placed the roots back in the ground, stood that tree upright and tied it to a rock that would hold it until it could hold itself once again.
People continued to tell me that it would never live, but it did. As I look at it today, it stands taller than the house and it is a huge tree, strong and beautiful. You see, God began to speak to me about that tree.
You see, some of us were the same way. Cast aside. Counted as worthless. Were told that we would never amount to anything and we should just be placed behind the building of the church, away from all the pretty and precious things. BUT GOD. But God saw us there, and He picked us up and He placed us in the soil of His word.
Then He began to water us, and speak life over us every single day. And we began to grow in Him. Our roots went deep and we grew strong and tall and beautiful. Then one day the storm came. And people said ‘this storm will destroy them.’ They declared ‘Look, they have been pulled up by the roots, there is no way they will make it now, they could never recover after that storm.’ BUT GOD. But God came along and He tenderly placed our roots back in place, He picked us back up, He tied us firmly to the solid rock, Jesus Christ, and He held us in place until we could stand on our own again.
Are you in a storm today? Just keep standing firm. You will make it through the storm and become stronger than before. Before you know it, people will look at you in amazement and declare ‘wow, I never thought they would survive that storm.’ But here they are! You have survived and not only survived but thrived. You are now a tree, planted by the rivers of waters, whose roots go deep and you bear much fruit.
God never intends for the storm to take us out. He is right there, ready to pick us up and put our roots firmly back in the ground of His word and cause us to be stronger than before. He will cause you to be a strong tree, bearing much fruit and giving shade and comfort to those who need it, trust Him in the storm. And when the storm has passed, stand tall and declare the mighty works of your God for He surely caused you to become that strong person you are, through and in spite of the storm. Praise be to God!