“At the timberline where the storms strike with the most fury, the sturdiest trees are found.”
Hudson Taylor was a christian missionary that spent over 51 years in China. He was very passionate and influential in his work to spread the Gospel of Christ throughout China. He knew full well what it meant to be in the fury of the storm.
We complain a lot, at least I do, about tough situations, trials, illness and all sorts of stuff. I know people that even complain when things are going pretty good. I think it’s controlled by the whinny gene, and some of us have very healthy whinny genes. Then you see people who are so solid nothing seems to shake them. They can be in a place where it appears the whole world is falling in on them and there faith is never shaken. What makes them different? I want to know, cause I want to grow up to be like them!
Have you ever been to the timberline, or to the coastline where the wind just relentlessly pounds the trees? You get some gnarly bent over beaten up trees. These trees sometimes don’t look nearly as healthy as the ones on the lower slopes or inland a little ways. But you subject the “healthy looking” trees to the same elements and they are likely to blow over and not survive the beating. The trees facing the storm have put down roots, they have adapted to survive what nature throws at them. There strength has grown stronger from the storm.
It’s amazing how easy it is to draw spiritual comparisons from God’s wonderful creation. If you protect yourself and never take a risk, you will be like the pretty trees. You’ll look great but you won’t be much good in a fight. We often talk about the bulls eye on your back when you become a Christian, Satan has it out for you. In my experience there is some truth to that, but a lot of us have kind a hidden the bulls eye. Let’s camouflage it with a lot of life so we don’t look like a threat to him. Fact is most Christians probably don’t concern him much, he hates you!, but your not a threat. He has his eye on those who truly take the call of God seriously. They are the ones he wants taken out. They are also the ones who know he can’t take them out!
I have been in both places throughout my walk with Jesus. There have been times that the call of God has been so strong and I have committed to serving no matter what. The attacks were relentless, anything to discourage, confuse, and distract came my way. But God’s power and Grace was always the victor, he carried me through, life was meaningful and exciting. Other times I have stepped back from ministry, not because God wanted me to, and things were pretty easy. I was no threat to Satan and pretty much useless for the Kingdom of God. The problem with that is you also feel empty, unfulfilled and like your useless to the Kingdom of God! You also don’t want to get back in the game cause you’ve given Satan the power to intimidate you into complacency.
The only battles Satan wins are the ones you choose to fight without God. If you are in the battle with God, doing what God has called you to do, life is amazing! Your fighting on the winning side, it may not always be easy, but your always winning. Get in the battle, grow some tough bark, put down some roots and make Satan know who’s side your on. Let the storms make you stronger.
I hope God is speaking to your heart, planting a call and a desire to go out and touch your world with the amazing gift of Christ! Be Bold!! Our side wins!!!
GOD is GOOD!!!