The tree that smashed my car windows, leaving several deep indents, came down this weekend.
The tree had appeared healthy enough at 80 feet tall with leafy branches until it dropped the dead branches on our cars (each one has a dent or two). Last weekend, that towering beech tree that shaded our house was chopped into fuel for our fireplace next winter.
The exposed stump revealed the truth about that tree’s health. The black hole in the middle, nearly a foot wide in circumference, belied its dying state and rotting roots.
In 1998, after a difficult experience in a church ministry, I limped away from the fray with doubts about God.
I had been a Christian for fifteen years, but now, I wanted to walk away from my faith in Jesus. After months of struggling to patch my faith back together in a new city with a new ministry, I surrendered to the doubts. I whispered, “Jesus, I’m tired of holding onto you. If you want me, then you’ll hold on to me. But, I’m letting go.”
Not long after that tearful prayer, the story of two builders cropped up in my daughter’s AWANA lesson. After reading through it with her, it haunted me for days. According to the story, the wise builder had survived a flood and a tornado. In contrast, my faith had not survived a devastating storm. I finally saw the truth: God was not weak, but my faith was weak.
With the foundations of my faith exposed, I saw that I depended on the approval of people rather than on God’s. I admitted that I believed God wouldn’t rescue me because He wanted my life to be difficult. With those faulty beliefs (and others) exposed, I began the long journey to rebuilding and healing.
What are the storms of life revealing about your root system?
Are the storms of life exposing an unhealthy or dead root system in you? Do you doubt God or believe lies about Him? Ultimately, I’m glad that my crumbling faith was exposed just like I’m glad that tree was diagnosed before the whole thing came down on our house.
We can play church or fake a faith for awhile, but only a life rooted in the truth about Jesus withstands the storms. What we believe about Him, and by default about us, anchors our faith.
Stay rooted in Jesus, friends.