Yesterday, I took Owen and his friend Evan for a hike on the trails I’ve been running. It was so fun to appreciate up close all the details I miss while running (and sucking wind and trying to not get hit by a bike).
We wandered off the trail for awhile and ended up along a creek. The hot sunlight filtered gently through the now-dense cover of leaves. I stopped a few feet away from the boys, struck sentimental by the adventurous spirit of my son and the beauty of our surroundings.
While “having a moment,” I noticed something odd. A tree laid fallen – but its branches held fresh leaves. Stranger still, It was clear the tree had been down for quite awhile. Yet, there were those branches, reaching toward the sky, bearing fresh, vibrant, green life. These leaves had most definitely grown after the tree was down.
I moved closer and noticed another just like it. This one rested at an angle, mostly fallen, but still with bright green leaves. Once I noticed the first two, I kept seeing more.
My heart beat faster as I got ridiculously excited. “This means something,” my heart shouted, “but I don’t know what! THESE TREES SHOULD BE DEAD. BUT THEY’RE NOT. I DON’T GET IT!” (You know I was totally channeling Double-Rainbow Man at this point.)
I continued inspecting these miracle trees and quickly realized the roots were still in the ground. Each tree, regardless of the varied “fallen” positions, contortions, or brokenness, had a good portion of its roots still in the ground. The trees had all been taken down by something at some point, but they had not been uprooted.
Immediately, part of the first Psalm came to mind:
Blessed is the one… whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither… (Psalm 1:1-3)
From the first time I ever heard it, this Psalm has always conjured an image of a massive, strong tree standing tall on the bank of a stream.
Now, I can’t help but picture this:
and I want to JUMP FOR JOY. Because my story, my life, doesn’t look or feel strong and sturdy. My story, my life, most often looks and feels like tipped over, broken, and mangled.
The winds will blow. Life can weigh heavy. But the roots of those planted in the Word of God grow strong and deep. And ROOTED in the Word of God, I LIVE.