The ice storm that made all our roads so icy and dangerous on New Year’s Day also left behind a dazzling winter display. It was hard not to admire the splendor of it all!
But amidst the beauty, I looked at the branches of our birch tree as the ice pushed them lower and lower until finally they touched the ground. I worried about those branches, wondering if the weight was too much. I really didn’t want our beautiful tree to be irreversibly damaged. Would the limbs crack under the pressure, or would it stay strong?
I even gave our tree little pep talks those few mornings, telling it to hang in there. Don’t crack under the pressure, River Birch. You will stand tall again soon!
Do you ever feel like this tree after a storm has rolled through your life? You feel burdened by whatever life’s storms have left on you. All the hurt, guilt, shame, disappointment, despair. You feel weak, and you feel the weight that keeps you from standing tall.
What would it take to make that tree rise up again and stand strong? Well for starters, the branches needed to be free of all that ice. So much ice.
You can’t rise up until you can shake off whatever it is that is weighing you down. Paul tells us in Colossians 3 that if we want to be raised with Christ, you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Or like it says in Hebrews 12:1… let us lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely…
Lay aside the weight. But guess what? It’s hard to shake all that weight off on your own. It only becomes possible when those branches are exposed to the light of the Sun.
….looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith… Hebrews 12:2
That first sunny day that the Light broke through the clouds, we saw a shower of ice chips start to fall. Inch by inch, the branches began to rise up. My birch tree survived!
Isn’t that encouraging? When the SON came out and shed His LIGHT on the drooping branches, the weight was lifted. It can rise up, stand tall, and give glory to its Creator. And God wants to do the same in your life! Let His Light into your heart and shake off the weight, so you can rise up!
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