Hope and Perseverance. Isn't that what we are called to do...hope and persevere? In the face of all the things going on around us, aren't we persevering and hoping for a better tomorrow? Last year on February 6, a tornado ravaged our community. Sadly, some of our neighbors lost everything and a beloved member of the community lost her life. A little roof damage and an old uprooted tree is the only damage we sustained. This old stump is all that's left of the tree. We haven't gotten around to having the stump removed. My sister came by one day and we laughed about how that poor stump is hanging in there. Of course, after she left, I was pondering the lesson behind it. I could almost hear the Lord say, "Yes, Becky, there's a lesson here."
The tree was really old and not really thriving before the tornado. During the tornado it was whipped in the wind, pulled out of the ground, and twisted at its roots. Then in the clean-up, it was cut down and left to rot. However, even after all it has encountered, part of the roots are still intact and firmly in the ground. It has even started to grow new limbs and they are budding. How strange is that? I'm considering leaving it just to see what happens next.
Shouldn't we all be like that old stump? If our anchor is in Jesus, our roots are intact. If we are drawing nourishment from our Root, then we have hope. If we have hope, we can persevere. If we persevere, we will flourish! I know there are times we are whipped by life, pushed, pulled, twisted, cut down, broken, and left to rot, but our Anchor remains. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We have an anchor in Jesus if we have accepted Him as our Savior. If we study His word, we can draw spiritual nourishment. When we draw our nourishment from His word, it will give us hope for every day and beyond this life...a hope everlasting. If we persevere in our circumstances and lean into to the Lord, we will flourish. We will grow in our relationship with the Lord and reap benefits beyond measure.
Everywhere I look around me today, I see perseverance and hope. Plants are all singing God's praises. They've persevered through a cold winter, hoped for spring, and are now beginning to flourish. The birds are flitting here and there content to be in the sunshine. The bees are busy enjoying God's provided bounty. They have all persevered because they have a hope not of this world. They have endured because they know Who is in control. Shouldn't we all come out on the other side of bad situations closer to God? Shouldn't we be letting God teach us? He wants us to flourish, and maybe that takes a little wind and rain. Sometimes it may take a lot of wind and rain or if you're like me, maybe even a tornado to upset your footing before we learn the lesson.
Keep your Roots intact. Keep your hope in Jesus.
Water with His Word and draw spiritual nourishment for your spirit. When the wind comes you may fall, but your heart will persevere because the Root is strong. You won't stay down.
Then, you will learn to flourish in any circumstance and blossom into the person God has created you to be!
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of the drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
-- Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV