Devotion By Rick Shafer

Home Alone #7 – Growing Like Trees

Trees

Growing Like Trees

What do the Lone Ranger, Green Hornet [Who remembers him?], and Batman and Robin have in common with us?  All wear masks when out in the public.

While I don’t know why all this is happening, I can tell you that somehow and in some way the God of heaven, the silent God, the One Who, from my perspective, seems to be absent, is still in control.

The school adjacent to our property is building a greenhouse.  Some trees on or near the property line were cut down in preparation for it.   While digging the footings they encountered many roots from the trees.  These roots gave the trees firmness and stability to stand.

(Jesus said) “I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Gardener.  He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…I AM the Vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:1-2, 5 (NIV)

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”  – Psalm 56:3 (NIV)

Trust

Let’s build on the word TRUST.  In the center we see “U”.  As an infant, all “U” know is “U”.  Everything revolves around “U”.  “U” are hungry.  ‘U’ have an upset stomach. Whatever it is, “U” want it, and “U” want it now, or “U” will cry to let others know.

As “U” grow you start to see others, you see “US”. But remember “U” are still in the center.  So if your brother or sister wants to play with a toy, it just seems that “U” should have it. “U” will push the other away, or grab and pull until “U” get what “U” want.  Eventually, “U” realize that life can be more enjoyable if “U” can see “US” working together.  As life continues, fear enters as well.  Fear of thunder and lightning, or the monster under the bed or in the closet.  Fear makes it hard for “US” to move.

It’s like “RUST” on metal parts, which makes those parts hard to move.  The more we focus on the fear, more “RUST” builds up and we become more and more stifled by the fear.  With Jesus as our focus, and “TRUST” in Him, we have freedom to move and live, knowing that with Him all things are possible. The things that we fear may still be present, but Jesus can calm those fears and give us the peace that goes beyond what we can understand. The “RUST” is displaced with “TRUST” in Jesus.

“Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.  Your roots grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” – Ephesians 3:17 (NLT)

Jesus Is The Trunk

I invite you to look out the window at the trees.  See how the branches sway in the wind.  Now, look at the trunks of the trees, they aren’t moving at all.  Isn’t that a bit like us?  When life is blowing at us from every direction, our emotions go up, down, and all around, as well.  Sometimes we live as if we only have branches.  What we need to do is realize that we have a Trunk, Jesus.  We can be secure and stable even when life is pulling at us from all sides.  On our own it’s easy to feel insecure and fragile, and we can be pummeled by our fears and insecurities.

But as we live and grow in Christ, we can experience deep peace with God and each other, being nourished and sustained by Christ’s power.  “We will speak truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, Who is the head of His body, the Church.  He makes the whole body fit together perfectly.  As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4: 15-16 NLT)

God is Near

As we continue our time being apart from each other, remember that God is building us into stronger Christians.  He is near us at all times.  Let’s explore and keep our eyes wide open to how He may use us, even when we cannot be close to others, and cannot do our normal activities and associations.  Be open to trying different things, i.e. our worship services.  Continue to grow, pushing your roots down deep and wide in Christ.  Study his Word to influence the way you look at this present situation.  Looking up to Him keeps the focus on Him rather than the circumstances, knowing that He knows what we are going through.  Look to God for your help. Go to Him.  Tell Him your needs.  Grow in His strength.

“Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.  There we will receive mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” – Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

 

“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”  – Psalm 121:2

Who better can help us?  Yep, you’re right.  No one else!  TO GOD ALL PRAISE AND GLORY!!!

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