“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the council of the wicked, but his delight is in the law of the Lord. And in His law, he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water.” – Psalm 1:1
Years ago, after finishing my post-graduate studies, I had the wonderful privilege to take a 5-week camping trip across the country with some friends. One of the places we visited was Sequoia National Forest in California. It’s a magical place with trees dating back to before the Roman Empire. One of them is called the General Sherman tree.
It may be the largest living thing on the planet. You can stand under the gap in its roots, and it is amazing. The tree is almost 300 feet high and 120 feet in circumference and weighs almost 3 million pounds. Its 3’ bark has withstood millennia of fires, floods, snows, heat, and cold.
But there is one interesting fact about these ancient giants. They tend to fall over! They typically don’t die of ‘old age’ (about 3,000 years for one of these). They most often succumb to high wind.
Why? Well, with their height over 200 feet, they have a massively wide root system. But the roots simply don’t go very deep, usually no more than a dozen feet or so. And it has no taproot, or strong center root. So, when the rain softens the soil, and the winds begin to blow, they are apt to falling over.
All of us will face challenges in our lives. As Jesus said in Matthew 7, “The wind and the rain will come.” How are we to stand in the face of these storms--health issues, job changes, relational strife, unreasonable pressures at work or school, temptations or fears from the world around us?
It is by assuring that our ‘taproot’ goes deep. That our connection with Christ is vibrant and alive, not impeded by anything. That our delight is in Him, knowing Him in and through His Word. And seeing life through the lens of heaven rather than the lenses of this world.
Realizing that our true success in life is not what we’ve achieved, the temporal, but the depth of our relationship with Him and our worship of Him, the eternal.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58
May we stand firm!
Questions for prayer:
- How is your devotional time with the Lord? Do you wish it to go deeper?
- What are the biggest challenges/hindrances that keep you from knowing Him more
- Considering our eternal standing with the God of the universe through Christ, how do the trials you’re currently facing look to you?