Once Majestic, Now Fallen

November 1, 2013

Friends,
Yesterday morning, about 5:00 a.m., I heard a loud noise that woke me up. I knew right away that it was the huge oak tree that had, over the past few years, been leaning farther and farther over. Just a day or so before I’d been looking at it and realizing that any time it could come down. Well, with the heavy rain this week, and the oak’s enormous weight, the roots just couldn’t hold it any longer. I went out with a flashlight, and yeah, there lay the once majestic tree. I was very sad. And more than sad, I felt un-nerved about the leaning tree that is closer to the house. It leans away from the house, but the dogs and the cat often lay under or near it.

So why am I writing about this once stately, now fallen, tree? Because it made me think about some spiritual things. How often do the storms and floods of life saturate a “Christian” so that his spirit gets heavy with cares, despondency, and distractions so that he leans toward those things rather than reaching straight up toward God, his Life? Just as Jesus tells us, there are those who “believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.” (Luke 8:13) They are those who, “as they go on their way, they are choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures, and they do not mature.” (v. 14) Oh, they may appear mature on the outside, and they may even be working and preaching in the name of Jesus (Mt. 7:22 & 23:25-28), but their hearts are not loyal. Instead, they allow their hearts to go after greed, self-indulgence, and all that is unclean. (same verses)

What happens to people whose hearts turn them from being devoted to Christ to being devoted to something else? They become addicted to that thing –things such as food, alcohol, drugs, wild-living, anger, lust, power, acclaim, or money. With an insatiable desire for more, they are driven to take and consume as if they have full control until one day they realize that it is actually their addiction that has full control over them. Then, whether it be from depression, from their loss of control, or from guilt, they lean even further away from God, their only Strength and Cure, and they fall. The once dignified, impressive man falls. And there he lies, unable to get up.

Is it the end for that fallen man? No. If he humbles himself and cries out to God and submits to Christ’s cleansing and new birth, he will be pulled back up, set back in his rightful position, his limbs adjusted to reach toward his Savior, and his roots healed and made secure in the Foundation. For the fallen tree in the photos below, it’s not going to happen. The roots are torn. Not only is there no one strong enough to bring it back to its former position, but it would take a real miracle for the roots to be mended, strengthened, and sent down deeper.

However, for a human, there is always the Miracle waiting to respond –if that person will just cry out to Him for help. God is eager to forgive, eager to comfort and deliver, eager to cleanse and restore. But only if the person is genuine, only if he is truly ready to slay Self and dedicate his life to the One who died for him to have Life. Sadly though, it often takes a tremendous crash and a devastating fall.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Last summer, in 2012, the tree was beginning to lean significantly.

A few weeks ago.

Yesterday.

My brother & sister (holding their babies), their spouses, & our horse, Tori, with Will & Violet riding. Photo taken in 2003. Note horse trailer and flat bed trailer under those two trees.

The other leaning tree. (Taken early this summer, 2013.)

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