Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Trees (12/05/05)
TITLE: A Prayer Whispered in the Wind
By Joyce Simoneaux
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I think about the trees that have not yet broken through the soil -- waiting and waiting as though they like being buried there. Why don’t they want to break free and join the rest of us? I am so thankful I am no longer in bondage. Will they ever be willing to accept Your gift?
It seems as though the tall trees can withstand anything. They seem so wise. I want to grow tall like them. No! That tall, beautiful tree is being cut down! Another one! Father, please, in Your mercy, save them! Those trees that were cut down, they never bowed as You passed by. Why? I want to grow tall and beautiful, but I never want to be so unyielding or proud that I will be cut down. I feel Your grief over what has become of them. You are so much a part of me now.
I am beginning to understand that You have surrounded me with many of the taller trees to shield me from storms until I am strong enough to withstand them. Some day I want to do the same for others, like that little one over there. See, even now she is venturing outward and upward, curious to know what it is You have to offer.
Little tree, don’t be afraid. Ours is a world filled with hope for a better life. Our Father waters and nourishes us. Look, stretch your branches upward like this – toward the Son -- and feel the warmth of His love. Let your roots grow deep into the soil, and soon you will begin to grow taller. It will not always be easy, but it will be worth it.
Father, after that last storm, many of the trees fell down exposing their roots. They appeared to be so big and tall and strong, but their roots did not go deep enough to anchor them. Your arm is not too short to pick them up and plant them again. You are the One who gives life a new beginning.
What is this pain I am feeling now? There is such a longing within me. I need to know more of You. Am I starting to grow again? The wind is blowing all around me, and it hurts. I can feel the rain You are sending, and I can feel my roots going deeper into the soil. As my roots grow deeper, I feel more secure, but there is restlessness in me that makes me want to stretch my branches more and more.
Look at my branches now! They are spreading out in every direction. I feel as though I can touch all the other trees. See the beautiful fruit that is growing on my branches! Look at the creatures finding shelter beneath them! They look hungry. I will share my fruit with them. Are you pleased, Father?
Listen to the birds nestled among my branches. They are singing beautiful songs of praise to You! I cannot help but join them and worship You, for I know that You will guide me continually, watering my life when I am dry and keeping me healthy, too. (Isa. 58:11) I bow to Your majesty. It is You, who cuts down the tall tree and helps the short tree to grow tall. It is You who makes the green tree wither and gives new life to the dead tree. (Eze. 17:24 NLT) There is none like You.
I give thanks to You, Father! Your goodness and mercy will endure forever and ever! Amen!
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