There is Hope for a Tree // Song for a Sunday

Job 14 yet at the cent of water

It’s spring, but still the trees are bare, save for the few buds beginning to emerge. On frosty, gray mornings, even though the grass is slowly greening, it can still look like winter and feel like it, too.  We can start wondering – will spring will ever come again? Will this deathly, barrenness last forever?

I was reminded again recently that we don’t have an enemy who is just there to annoy us. He isn’t a comical character with a pitchfork who has just come to tempt us or trip us into sin. He has come to kill, to steal from us and to destroy our lives. We get cut and sometimes everything we have tried build gets knocked down, destroyed. And we’re shocked. We’re surprised it could happen when we were following all the Christian “stuff” like living for God, reading the Word, spending time in worship, attending a good Bible-believing church. Etc.

In this world you will have trouble, “Jesus said. What did we think He meant?

I’m surprised that I am still surprised at the enemy’s tactics, that though I have lived surrounded by God’s faithfulness, I still fear winter has come for good. I forget so quickly that He also said, “But take heart, I have overcome the world.”

I smell hope. Could new life be just around the corner?

At the scent of water…

There is hope for a tree. If it’s cut down, it will sprout again…

Last summer I fought the battle of the Cottonwoods and the Aspens. We landscaped our back yard from dirt ten years ago. Today it is full of bushes and trees and flowers and veggies, come summer. It is lush, verdant, full of living things.

Those first trees were coaxed, kissed, sweet-talked: Please grown here, little trees, please bring me shade and thrive.

Now though, the yard is fairly bursting with goodness and life {quite overgrown and out of control, actually} and years of compost and hearty feedings and love and attention have created living, oxygenated wonderland so that now Aspens and Cottonwoods try to hold conventions here. I barely turn my back and another hidden seed has become a viable seedling, planted snugly in fertile ground.

I consider it carefully {should it stay?}, but most times, I need to remove them or they’ll damage a pipeline or cover the vegetable gardens. I try pulling them out. There! Got most of the root I think. A few days later, proud, bright green leaves unfurl on sturdy, baby branches.

Foiled, I get the heavy-duty pruners out and I cut and I mangle and I damage them badly – on purpose. There, I think! Now it’s gone. But, no. New shoots, new leaves.

I generally cannot help but smile and actually am encouraged that, though the gardener has tried her best to get rid if it, another little tree has fought for life. The secret of existence anyway has been the roots were taking hold, establishing before I was even aware. My attack doesn’t have the effect I think it will because I have no idea how long those roots have been at work, of what has been happening under the surface. How true of you and me, too…

“Be well-balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.”  1 Peter 5.8-9 Amp

Like a tree – you may have been cut down, the enemy bent on stealing your identity, your life, your peace, your reason for living, and destroying the things you held dear. But that other tree, the one on which Jesus died with all the bloody hope that was buried that day, changes EVERYthing.

When Jesus emerged in an explosion of dazzling, bright light and life three days later, with the keys of death, hell and the grave jingling in His hands, our Risen Savior proved that being buried, cut down to the root, couldn’t stop the plan of God – not for Jesus, not for us. Regardless of what it looks like on the surface, no grave can hold you down, no death sentence, no curse, no sin, nothing.

At the scent of water, it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant…

Hear this :: Physical abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, sickness, inoperable tumors, cancer treatments, a ‘stage 4’ diagnosis, chronic pain, relational brokenness, financial ruin, disenfranchisement, illegitimate chastisement, paralyzing fear, suicidal torment, shame that flattens, depression, humiliation, guilt that shatters, fearful thoughts, unholy imaginations, competitive people, rejection, divorce, heartbreak, job loss or layoff  – Anything and Everything that the enemy has tried on you or stolen from you, may this now be the scent of water before the rains even fall and may the roots you have sunk deep into the mercy of Jesus see you through to renewal and transformation, and a spring-green, hope-filled life!

Zechariah 10.1

Hear this as a love song from the Father~to you.

Is that the scent of rain on its’ way?

romans 15

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