A blog by Josh Humbert
Way out in the small town of Leakey, Texas is an old church campground with many trees that have stood for years and years. These are the trees that have endured through the passage of time. These trees have endured countless Texas summers with it’s unceasing heat and sun. These trees have stood firm in the midst of harsh storms and the rise of waters.
I find some measure of peace walking among these trees. Sometimes, just to stand in the shade of these trees and admire a beautiful piece of creation that has seen so much and yet is still standing…that is a good thing for me. These trees were here long before me and they will outlast me. These trees are a testament to something larger than just my life.
Let me show you one in particular that means something to me…
This tree is just outside an old outdoor worship center. Among all the other trees nearby, this one is particularly memorable for me.
I have prayed under this tree. I have met with God under it’s branches and leaves. I have used it as a temporary shelter when a sudden rain hit. I have admired it since I was child, as I have been to this campground many times.
And some years back, before I was to speak at one of my first youth camps, my dad and brother took me out to this tree and prayed over me.
This has been a good tree for me. I am thankful for it.
There is no mystical or magical power about the tree itself. But it has been a place of special spiritual significance in my life.
Do you have places like this? Places where you have a certain history? Places that, over the passage of time, have been a place of strength and peace?
My sons recently memorized Psalm 1 and I love to hear them say (in their little boy voices) the solid truths of this Scripture. The first three verses say this:
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law he mediates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields it’s fruit in it’s season and it’s leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.
When they get to verse three and the part about the “tree firmly planted by streams of water,” I think of my tree out in Leakey. The man who loves the Lord and seeks to obey His Word…he will be like THAT tree. Solid, unflinching, tested, true, rooted, unmovable, towering, alive, and reflecting the glory of God.
I find a desire within me that wants to live like that.
I want to be rooted and strong so my wife and marriage will blossom. I want to be unflinching and true, so my children can be sure of their father’s love and can find safety and shelter in their own storms. I want to be a reflection of God’s glory to all who see me.
This won’t happen instantly. Just as that tree slowly grew and grew over the course of decades, so a life completely built on Christ must be cultivated. This can’t be microwaved or instant, as so much in our world seems to be. The life of a strong tree and the life of a man living out Psalm 1 will happen through years and years of purposeful living and growth. It will happen under the watchful eye of the Father.