The Tenacious Tree: Part Two

There really is a “Higher Power” and I am not him. 

Last week I told of my pin oak tree. So, what is the moral of the story? Tenacity is important in life…but tenacity alone is not enough to make us “thrive.” 

I feel to blame for my pin oak’s demise. I picked up the limbs that fell during the ice storm but didn’t spend enough time to trim the broken limbs after the ice storm. Therefore, the butterflies laid their eggs among the splinters and the grubs were born. The grubs were there because of my neglect. I put grub killer and fertilizer around the roots of the tree, but I didn’t put enough. I didn’t notice the drooping leaves soon enough. My watching the wind blow wasn’t enough to protect it from the wind. My standing there wasn’t enough to keep the lightning from striking. 

So, what could have been or should have been done to avoid a slow deterioration? In my tree, paying attention to its health and doing enough to take care of those things as they happened would have helped, and might been enough to have had me sitting in the shade. 

It was Benjamin Franklin who wrote in Poor Richard’s Almanac, “For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost; being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for want of care about a horse-shoe nail.” 

How does that apply to my spiritual life and to yours? Satan is a rascal who will sneak in anywhere he can, and he even uses butterflies and other beautiful creatures to do it. If I am to survive, especially if I am to thrive, I must get rid of sin in my life. When I am willing to invest the time and emotional energy to confess, repent and turn from it, I can thrive. 

Spiritual nourishment is vital to spiritual growth just as physical nourishment is vital to physical growth. You get spiritual nourishment as God’s Word is applied by God’s Spirit. I guess I’m already on my soap box here, so I’ll say that God’s Word needs to be a part of your life and mine. Let me name a few ways to make that happen: Daily Bible Readings, Scripture memorization, His Truth daily email from your chaplain, Bible preaching, Christian Radio programs, Church attendance, Apps for your smart phone, daily devotionals emailed to your inbox, and you can add your own favorite way of getting God’s Word into your life. I might add that superficial in any of those areas will never get to the heart of the matter. 

I don’t want to just survive this life… I want to thrive in this life and in the life to come. I read in the last chapter in the last book of the Bible, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14) I am convinced that there really is a higher power. His name is God, and he has a son named Jesus. He has an adopted son named Larry Hendren…that’s me. There really is a Higher Power, and I am not him. 

My prayer today for you is that you be blessed like the man in Psalms 1 who…walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but… planted by the rivers of water…and whatever he does shall prosper.”