Encouragement, Poems/Songs

A Strong Tree

 

THE STRONGEST TREE is not found in the shelter of the forest, but out in the open where the winds of every direction beat upon it.

  • It is bent and twisted until it until it becomes a giant in stature.
  • This is the TREE which the carpenter wants his projects made of, and the furniture maker seeks.

THE OAK TREE* 

A mighty wind blew night and day.

It stole the oak tree’s leaves away,

Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark

Until the oak was tired and stark.

But still the oak tree held its ground

While other trees fell all around.

The weary wind gave up and spoke,

“How can you still be standing, Oak?”

The oak tree said, “I know that you

Can break each brand of mine in two,

Carry every leaf away,

Shake my limbs, and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,

Growing stronger since my birth.

You’ll never touch them, for you see,

They are the deepest part of me.

Until today, I wasn’t sure

Of just how much I could endure.

But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,

I’m stronger than I every knew.”

 

Always, always, always believe that no matter what crosses your path of life….

  • If you have  deeply planted roots…you will make it through.
  • I believe in the deepest part of my being that time heals a broken heart.
  • But, the truth of this fact depends upon what YOU CHOOSE to do with your time.
  • Determine to plant your roots deep.
  • Then you will be able to bend when the strong winds blow….and not break.

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

*Poem, Author Unknows

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Encouragement, Life's Journey

Storms

It is now shortly after 4:00 a.m. and a STORM is raging outside of the security of my home. 

  • The winds are howling, the thunder clouds clashing, the lightning flashing, the rain assaulting the four walls that provide shelter for myself and my husband.
  • For about an hour now; this Storm has raged on and on.
  • It started with a loud clash of thunder, brilliant lightning and the sound of wind chimes working overtime.
  • Our power has jumped on and off a couple of times.
  • We’ve already had two inches of rain.
  • This Storm is coming in waves; sort of like the tides.
  • It loudly announces it’s presence, after a while it seems to silently fade away only to return again with more force.

Many times I sleep through a Storm in the night, but this one said; “not tonight, I have things to say to you.” 

  • It spoke of the security of my home….of my life, and of Storms passed.
  • I was reminded, again, of a Stormy night many years ago when I thought my heart would literally break in two….a night I might not even survive.

This Storm of nature, just like the Storms that come into our lives, arrived on the heels of a good day, a day of blessings. 

  • When we’re on the mountain top, we must be aware that the trip down can bring us into a valley.
  • Storms can do that.
  • They effect our lives for the good, and if we let it we will be influenced for the worst.
  • The out come is determined by our personal perspective.
  • Will you let your spirit drown in the Storm, or will you rise above it?
  • Your times and choices are in your hands.

This Storm reminded me of something I observed one time as I was making a drive up into the Rocky Mountains. 

  • Before our destination was reached a strong Storm erupted.
  • We hadn’t been in the rain very long when I noticed a corral with about eight horses in it.
  • What caught my attention was the fact all of these horses were tightly huddled together in one corner of the pen and every one of them had their noses pointed in the same direction.
  • This group of horses were all facing directly into the wind….they were all turned into the Storm.

That’s what a ship at sea will do…..turn into a Storm.

  • The bow of a ship is designed to cut through the waves, to give it more strength.
  • The strong forces of the waves are more easily dispersed along the sides of the ship.
  • When the stern faces a Storm the craft itself is more exposed and may take a damaging blow to itself and makes all who occupy it more venerable to harm.
  • We too have more strength when we choose to turn and stand in the face of the Storms that come into our lives.

Sometimes, as with the Storm outside of my home tonight, we have a warning of it’s approach. 

  • Yesterday the air was hot and heavy….you knew something was going to break in order to clear things out.
  • But, at other times, we are hit with a Storm we were not expecting and possibly not prepared for.
  • It can come from an unexpected phone call or just about any other avenue that you have experienced.

Tonight’s Storm told me “I was safe and secure, that I had nothing to fear. My home and my life has a strong foundation. All this uproar will pass. Tomorrow will come. The air will be fresher and the sun will once more make an appearance. There will be more Storms to come, but you have grown in strength with each one that crosses your life. You can make it through the Storms of tomorrow because you depended upon ME to make it through the Storms of yesterday.”  In Scripture there is a well known account of a Storm. 

  • I have applied this story many times to my life experiences, and shared it with others when they were in the midst of their Storms.
  • As Jesus and His disciples were on the sea, a great Storm raged.
  • Most of the time the emphasis of this account is on Jesus sleeping, His disciples’ fear, Him calling for peace and calming the Storm.
  • What encourages me is the beginning of this story.
  • In Mark 4:35 Jesus has a journey to make to the other side of the sea.
  • He says to his followers: “Let US go to the other side.” 
  • In Matthew 8:23 the Word says “When He entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him.” 

Take time to reflect on this:

  • He knew there would be a Storm.
  • He entered the boat first.
  • He was with the disciples (US).
  • There was a purpose to be fulfilled across the sea and He knew that all would arrive safely.
  • If you have a personal relationship with the Savior, you can depend upon the fact that He is with you in your Storms.

Last night’s Storm is now over. 

  • The air is cool, clean and fresh.
  • As you read these words, know that you too can have a freshness and renewal in your life.
  • If you would like to know more about surviving and growing through the Storms, please thoughtfully read my blog of this past February entitled “OPPORTUNITIES.”

“In fierce storms,” said an old seaman,

“we must do one thing; there is only one way:

we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there.”

(Streams in the Desert)

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