A Tree Planted

I admit it.  I feel a special kinship with this tree.  We understand each other.

We both endured a great and consistent wind that formed and shaped our lives.
My “wind” began like most… a constant breeze with a few occasional gusts.  Life presented me with its typical struggles and challenges and I took pride in my ability to withstand its flurries.  I called it flexibility.  I knew that as a Christian woman, I would not be exempt from life’s harsh realities, so I leaned into the promises found in scripture and committed myself to learn the lessons each circumstance offered.

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” Romans 5:3-5

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Then the real storm started.  Like the tree above who withstood a constant and forceful wind off a mountain top, the “wind” in my life grew to such strength that I could no longer recover.  The wind offered no reprieve.  I found no rest, no shelter from the storm.  I questioned God’s promises of perseverance producing character and hope.  I questioned His love for me and naïvely wondered if He even knew what I endured.  With a bent back and eyes facing the ground, I went through the motions of life hoping merely to survive.

However, the Lord did not allow me to stay emotionally crippled.  He saw my struggle and quieted the wind.  He set my back straight again and lifted my eyes to Him.

“On a Sabbath, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years.  She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.  When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”  Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”  Luke 13:10-13

A spirit crippled the woman.  Derived from the Greek word, “pneuma”, “spirit” means breath, spirit, or wind.  Like the tree, a constant and debilitating “wind” bent the back of this woman, crippling her for 18 years.  Likely ostracized by her community, she held little hope for healing.  She felt constant pain.  The ground beneath her feet offered the only beauty she saw in life.  Jesus changed everything.  He saw her and called out to her.  He released her from the “wind” and put His hands on her.  Forever changed, she lifted her eyes to Jesus and rejoiced.

Jesus continues to heal today.
What “wind” are you facing?  Is it a short-lived squall or a hurricane that steals your hope and joy?  Perhaps a tornado is leaving a path of destruction and despair.  I pray you might find your healing in the words and hands of our Savior.  He alone can calm the storms that rage.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when the heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7-8

For further study:  Luke 8:22-15,