Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tea

I was out early that morning, snapping pictures while the light was good.  My intent was to take a few close up photos of leaves on the ground when I found myself unable to pull away from the above scene, the roots of a favorite tree.  It is not the biggest tree in the yard, actually one of the smallest... but it has the most interesting roots.

The subject of roots growing in my life has been a subject of intense pondering through the years.  Mostly as the journey has been difficult from my father's death when I was ten to the present.  Life changed literally overnight, bringing with it the scars of a fallen world.

There have been intense storms which have brought with them the hurricane force winds of adversity.  Trials in which I had to literally remind myself to breath.  Sunrises coming through my window when I was sad to face another day, having told God in my evening prayers that I had no energy to carry on.  The thought of another twenty-four hours was beyond the strength left, or so I thought.

Can't it ever be easy, Lord?   I look at this person and that family who appear to carry no extra loads on their journey.  They have photo albums full of happy Holidays with multiple generations, vacations in Disney World,  travel to far off places, large houses, gourmet kitchens, perfect children, and worst of all... they are also Christians.

So I can't say they have sold their soul to the devil so to speak.  Why are they blessed and every day is a new challenge, Lord?   He has heard that through the dozens of years spent on this planet.

It is not a new question.  King David asked it long ago.  Why do even the wicked prosper?  The underlying question being... why them and not me?

God answered my questions, partly in His Word and as with so many answers... a lot in nature.  He took me to the trees and their roots.  He reminded me that the trees which stand firm in the storm are those with the deepest roots.  The roots grow deep because they must for the tree to survive.

How do the Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve grow deep roots, those which allow them to stand strong when the trials come?  Our Creator designed us so that our roots grow not in the sunshine but in the storm.  The longer the duration of the storm, the harder the winds are to stand against.. the deeper the roots.

Why does He allow storms?  Well, for one thing in this most fallen of worlds they occur naturally to people as well as the planet.  But for those who call themselves Christians... followers of Christ... there is another reason.  The Book says we are to give comfort as we have been given comfort.

For you see, if it were not for the storms since childhood, my writing would be completely different.  I couldn't tell anyone that He is always there even when we can't see or hear or feel Him.  It would be impossible to share that "all things really do work for our good and His glory" if we turn it all over to Him.

I came long ago to realize the journey on which He places us is the Story we are to write... uniquely written for our very DNA.  As individual as a fingerprint.  Shaped with love as only a God can love.  The God.  Our God. Creator.

He reminds me it is not Heaven, yet.

I admire the roots on the tree and a gentle Thought runs through my mind.  There are two different kinds of roots, both of our choosing.  There are the roots of faith, hope, and trust.  The kind of roots that grow deep into Him.  For that is where true strength is found.  A life rooted in Him.

The other roots one can choose?  Bitterness.  Anger.  Unforgiveness.  Coveting.  Jealousy.  A mind always affixed to our own lack compared to another's abundance.  Darkness of soul.  I can always tell when someone has allowed these roots to take hold of their life. 

Choose this day... Life.

For when the storms of adversity arise... and they will as long as you draw a breath on the planet... from simple annoyances to heart wrenching grief... where you run to or Whom you run to will determine the way you shine through to others in the storm.

Your roots are showing.  Just as in the photo above.


Sally Clarkson said...

It is because you go to Him, every day, every trial, that you are a mentor to me. I love this post and I love your story of faithfulness. so very well said.

Anonymous said...

lovely and truth-filled post! you write with such conviction and thoughtfulness that your words connect with me on many levels. thank you!

Anonymous said...

Today's post is spot on! Life is difficult! It is unfair! In a fallen world we can only expect trying times and to turn to God's word is the only thing that will grow those deep roots. I learned long ago not to envy those with "curb appeal" as all of us are struggling with something, though it may not always show. Thank you for todays gentle reminder.

mamatigerj said...

Oh, Brenda, thank you; thank you!
I so needed these words today. I am going to print them out, because I know that I will need them again...and again.

Vee said...

Beautiful writing, Brenda. I know that your words have blessed me and many others. I love how you say that each thing in our lives was designed for us by a loving God. That'll have me pondering all week.

Jennifer Kindle said...

Such beautifully written words. Thank you for sharing and reminding me I have a choice to whom I turn when adversity comes. I desire to grow deep roots in my Creator.

Thoughts for the day said...

Great analogy of life... wonderful thoughts and encouragement...good job.

Unknown said...

Love this. Very well stated.

Grace-gardens-and-reads said...

Thank you for these words, and I acknowledge the life experiences you have had to go through to be able to encourage your readers with your writing today!

terricheney said...

In a month when bad news seems to come on the heels of more bad news and fear threatens to take over, I thank you for these words.

Judy said...

So much wisdom here, Brenda.

I too have had the experience of coming alongside someone in a time of great pain, and feel that to be a source of comfort to another, is part of God's way of redeeming the sometimes excruciating sorrows of my own life.

I did not realize that your father had died when you were so young, but your mentioning it, immediately brought Anderson Cooper's autobiography "Dispatches from the Edge" to mind. He suffered a similar loss at about the same age, and just a few years later, the tragic and shocking death of his older brother. I recently picked it up in a thrift store only to be told my daughter that she recognized it from Sarah Clarkson's library page! Sure enough it is there. Sadly, Anderson does not have the comfort of knowing Christ (though he is now on my prayer list), but it is nevertheless, a beautifully written autobiography, paralleling his childhood/youth journey with some of his remarkable experiences as a journalist. I think it is worth borrowing from the local library...

Thank you for your ongoing gift of encouragement.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

To many we may seem to be a "perfect" family but we are not! We are flesh and we so mightily need HIM.

We love being able to say it is because of Him that we can be who we are now, because of fresh, daily mercies.

I hope to show grace to others because of the grace we've been given. That's how you are able to minister to so many. You share what you've learned!

Thanks for this post Brenda!


Anonymous said...

Words so wonderful and so encouraging for my own life right now. Thank you for taking the time to write them and to bless us! Taryn

Anonymous said...

well said - thank you


Anonymous said...

What wonderful encouragement this post is to me. Thank you for writing it.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, I really am encouraged by this post