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The Mighty Tree  

I remember as a pathfinder going to our Camporee and enjoying the beautiful landscape of nature. There was one tree by one of our lower division Sabbath school classes that was perfect for picnics or just laying in the shade as the soft breeze came over you.   The tree lived thru many storms, blizzards, and even periods of drought. It stood majestic, picturesque, and was my favorite tree in the entire camp. Then one day, the ground moved as lightning struck that tree and split it almost completely in half.

For decades, the tree withstood everything nature could throw its way. It had an incredible root system that made it strong against the elements. But now, the mighty tree met one that would cause it to tremble. Days later we came with our chainsaws and began to cut away the huge limbs. Until finally just a piece of the trunk remained. I thought my tree was doomed for eternity. The following year, I could not believe what I saw. The spark of life was still in the tree. Branches began to grow upward toward the heavens from the remaining trunk. Each year when I came to visit Camp Berkshire that tree was taller and many new branches grew upward to the heavens.

What saved the tree? It had a strong root system. The tree had character; it was not going to allow lighting to deter it from what God designed that tree to be. It was my tree! When folks that hid in the shadows of that tree moved on because it was no longer providing the perfect shade, I decided to make that tree my buddy. I know this sounds foolish, but I was not going to abandon the tree that gave me joy and happiness, just because now it was short, stubby, and stumpy. Going back to that tree years later, it was beginning to resemble its former grandeur.

I am grateful for two things. I am reminded that God does not abandon us after we have been trampled, trodden, and ravished by the forces of sin. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13:5-6

Second, God provides the resources so that we can be restored and help us grow into what He intended us to be. How are you today? Have the forces of sin damaged you? Have friends abandoned you? Are you a shadow of what you once were? I praise our Lord and Savior who never left my side, even though I once thought that He had. I am grateful because God has provided a way to restore my health when I lay there on my side helpless, injured, and charred by the lightning strikes of this world. When I feel forgotten because I no longer have my former strength and vigor. When it feels that I am being cut piece-by-piece and limb-by-limb because I am no longer relevant. For God, we are always relevant! “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” Matthew 6:26

Here is a passage from one of my favorite authors. “So Christ, the heavenly Shepherd, cares for His flock that is scattered throughout the world. He knows us all by name. He knows the very house in which we live, and the name of each inmate. He cares for each one as if there were not another in the whole world.” Steps to Jesus p. 75

May the Lord bless you in the upcoming Year remembering that God will not abandon you, and He will provide a way for you.

Blessings

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