We had an ice storm followed by a few inches of snow in our part of the country last week.
It was beautiful.
And it was destructive.
Tree limbs were down, power was out in many parts of town,
and my birch tree.
Oh, my poor birch tree.
I don’t know how to adequately describe to you how much I love trees.
Perhaps with this tidbit: I decided against attending a certain college because there were not enough trees flourishing on campus.
Or perhaps with the way my heart resonates with this: I couldn’t live where there were no trees — something vital in me would starve. ~ Anne (in Anne’s House of Dreams)
It hurts something deep within me to see our birch tree so weighed down, to see branches that once stretched up to the sky now brushing the dirt.
Yet there is also something deep within me that feels much the same way after the events of this past year.
Impeachment, pandemic, shut-downs and sheltering in place, more shootings, social protests, election …
We are all weighed down and weary, our souls tending to brush the dirt these days rather than stretching up to the sky.
I look at our birch tree, look at the way she surrenders and bends rather than resisting and breaking, and want to react the same way when circumstance weighs me down.
I want to surrender to God, surrender to what the Spirit is doing inside of me, rather than pushing back and resisting to the point of breakage.
No matter what the weight, I trust that our God loves us and wants what is best for us.
When all that is heavy in our world and in your life causes you to doubt this, simply turn your eyes toward the cross.
The cross is the answer to your questions of Does God really love me? Is God really good? Does God really have the power to rescue me?
Yes. A resounding yes.
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give him all things?
See how heaven ordered such deep pain for the salvation of the world and for your soul, and know that if His deepest pain will never be wasted, neither will yours. ~ Matt Papa
I want to be like my birch tree, surrendered to the Spirit, trusting the heart of God, as he works his glory in me through this current sorrow.
One day, just as he promised, the weight of this world will melt away in the light of the Son himself and we will spring upward to meet him.
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all photographs copyright 2021 Made Sacred