Prodigal: What a view!
Me: Where are you Prodigal?
Prodigal: Look up.
Me: What are you doing in that tree?
Prodigal: This looked like a strong tree and I wanted to climb a tree today. Do something different. Let loose.
Me: Well I think you have accomplished that. I have never told you a story while you are in a tree but why not this time. Hang on and relax while I begin my story.
This week I was reading Charles Spurgeon. He starts by saying It is a grand thing to have a faith which cannot be shaken. I saw one day a number of beech trees which had formed a wood; they had all fallen to the ground through a storm. The fact was they leaned upon one another to a great extent, and the thickness of the wood prevented each tree from getting a firm hold of the soil. They kept each other up and also constrained each other to grow up tall and thin, to the neglect of root growth. When the tempest forced down the first few trees the others readily followed one after the other. Close to that same spot I saw another tree in the open, bravely defying the blast, in solitary strength. The hurricane had beaten upon it but it had endured all its force unsheltered. That lone, brave tree seemed to be better rooted than before the storm.
I thought, “Is it not so with professors?” They often hold together, and help each other to grow up, but if they have not firm personal roothold, when a storm arises they fall in rows. A minister dies, or certain leaders are taken away, and over go the members departure from the faith and from holiness. I would have you be self-contained, growing each man into Christ for himself, rooted and grounded in love and faith and every holy grace. Then when the worst storm that ever blew on mortal man shall come, it will be said of your faith, “I could not shake it.”
As a counselor I deal a lot with assessing where someone is mature wise with their faith. One thing I have seen though is if you have a problem how much time do you spend taking it to God. We should consult mature close friends when in a storm. The difference though is, are we leaning on the friends or are we leaning on God? Are the friends beside us with a helping hand but our roots are still firmly being supported by God? Or are we turning to others things to also support our roots? For a lot of men we can try to support our roots instead of allowing God to do that. This happened to me this past week. I had a problem arise that I was unsure of how to proceed. I quickly found myself talking to much about it with too many people. I prayed and I got a scripture that said stand still and turn to me. I quickly adjusted my schedule to spend more time with God. Guess what happened. God strengthened me. He is teaching me to have roots that are grounded in him which means that these storms and trials will not destroy me or the work I do for God!
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Jennifer Van Allen,