Friday, July 31, 2009

Quiet Strength

During my summer in the Springs, I talked with my roommate, Rachel, about God's way of demonstrating strength in His creation. The ocean or water to me shows God's ever-reaching, majestic power that can rage and destroy, or calm and soothe. I love to sit on the beach and just listen to the waves roll in and lap at the sand and shells on the beach. It is peaceful. The mountains are dangerous, strong in their very nature, steady, unmoving, unchanging. They point to Heaven and require strong, adapted animals and plant life to thrive. We hypothesized that the mountains are God's picture of masculine strength while the ocean represents a more gentle, feminine strength.

One night, five of us girls took a night hike to Mt. Cutler. The curse of being an English major is that I find an analogy in EVERYTHING, and God greatly teaches me through nature. I noticed a tree that was knarled and leaning over in the trail, yet it had corrected itself and was still standing straight. Its roots were clinging to the rock and though bent, it was standing tall and proud. It was strong! There was a time where it had bent under the elements, but as its roots gripped the rock and dug deep, it filled out and grew tall. It still bore evidence of its brokenness but it had been healed and revealed this quiet, steady strength.

I feel like this tree reflects my life. It has been bent, twisted by the harsh winds of life. It's roots are apparent yet they have burrowed deep. I have been broken, challenged, knocked over by the winds of life, I have succumbed to pressure and struggled to correct myself. But there is a promise in the very nature of God that we will bend but not break. His strength is sufficient and we will be mighty oaks of righteousness for the display of His splendor (Isaiah 61:1-3)! I am clinging to my Rock for strength and I pray that the broken and bent parts in my life pull my roots to the surface so people can see what I cling to in the harshness and have hope. I will grow tall and strong because I serve a mighty God who made the mountains. I pray that like that tree, my Maker gives me a quiet strength to withstand the strongest elements because my roots are clinging to my Rock.

In the One who is Mighty to Save,

Hos. 6:1 "Come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn but He will heal; He has stricken, but He will bind us up."

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