I’m spending a quiet morning on my porch watching the world wake up from a violent night. It was storming last night; the wind howled and the rain was pelting against the side of the house. I woke and noticed right away that it was quiet…the calm after the storm. The first thing I saw when I walked out my front door was my favorite tree. It is beautiful – standing tall in the middle of my front yard. It weathered the storm well – with only a few dead branches on the ground below. Its roots go deep, which enables it to stand tall and solid.
Matthew 7:24-27 says, 24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
When I was reading these verses in Matthew 7 the similarity to the tree struck me. When the roots go deep, or we have the right foundation, we can weather the most difficult of life’s storms. Sure, there may be some loose or weakened branches that break free and fall to the ground – the storms of life shake us up. Storms show weakness, but once that frailty is exposed, and the dead is taken away, there is the opportunity for sprouting new growth and strength. I know so many people who have faced adversity, and by clinging to Jesus during that storm, have grown stronger and deeper roots because of it.
Everyone has a different story. We all face hard times – every single one of us. I think what defines us as a person is the way we endure it. I walked out the door this morning, looked at my tree and noticed right away that it stood strong and majestic, not battered and broken. The legacy that we leave, as Christians, isn’t how we stood during the easy and good times, but what we did when it was tough. How deep were our roots, what did we cling to and what was our attitude like in the clean up after the storm.