The magnificent old cypress tree stood tall and strong year after year, enduring each season with grace and beauty. Until one day a broad and brutal storm tossed and churned ferociously against it.
Powerful winds made the tree vulnerable and the storm made every effort to uproot it, unsuccessfully because its main roots were deeply established. However, the roots did manage to loosen some, while dead branches and leaves broke away. After the storm, the age-old tree looked forlorn, having lost its beauty, many of us thought it would surely die.
But, the horrific storm had actually created gaps in and around the trunk of the tree, causing the roots to grow deeper with access to a new source of water and nutrition. The tree's dead branches were gone, but new buds caused others to grow back fuller!
The aged tree had grown stronger, in unseen ways and now it's allure and beauty were even more evident. When the harvest time had arrived, the old tree proved to bear more fruit than it ever had before the storm.
Do you feel like you're in a dreadful storm right now? If so, are you aware that when we go through challenging and difficult times, God's grace is magnified in us??
We may feel the strong winds blowing, they may seem to be shaking us violently and we think to ourselves "I can't go on!!" This is when and how our daily devotions, keep us "deeply rooted in God" and "standing firmly in Him!"
My friend, do not fret, do not panic, this is the time we must pray and trust that God is working in us. God is cultivating a stronger relationship within us, a greater depth of humility and sorrow for sin. He is creating a deeper, more valuable and profound hunger for His righteousness!!
God is making us a more qualified and skilled soldier of the cross... we may be battle-scarred, but we are also battle-smart, brave and heroic!! We may get down on ourselves at times... but God never does!
Yes, God is able to remove our struggles and lift us up, out of our trials, but He doesn't... because He sees it growing and producing in us a greater thirst for him!! So continue to praise Him!!
Our suffering is not the end, there is much more to come: my friend, we must continue to shout our praises, even in the midst of our affliction, because our troubles will develop a more fervent patience in each of us!! And, that patience in turn, will forge a resilient steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next!
Be alert and expectant, God will never shortchange us! Quite the contrary... we can't round up enough containers to hold everything that God wants to generously pour into our lives through His Holy Spirit!!
We must never give up! How could we?? Yes, on the outside it looks like everything is falling apart, but on the inside, our God is making a new life and not a day goes by without His unfolding grace!
The things we see on earth, are here today, gone tomorrow! But, the things we can't see now... will last forever!