2020-02-11 - Roots
Where we live, we had a severe drought several years ago, with the most severe designation of "Exceptional drought." I know that in this country and this creation, we have always had droughts, and we are certainly more blessed than our ancestors who experienced the droughts, tornadoes and hurricanes of about 100 years ago, the floods of the 304s and 40s etc. At least we have good warning systems, and we know a lot more about the number and seriousness of disasters due to improved communications systems - even in formerly remote areas! We have better abilities to help those in need - as we SHOULD and DO, though we are still facing corruption in the receiving areas such as the sad example of Puerto Rico where a HUGE amount of our US donations were later found, several years later, and sitting in a hot area, UNSHARED by the leaders who left desperate victims in dire need. We need to pray for people living in these areas where the aid is not given to those in such need.
Another thing that hasn&srquo;t changed is that continued drought weakens the roots of trees. That renders them more susceptible to the effects of rain. This isn&srquo;t only true of "Dead" trees as is the norm, Rather, after such a serious drought, about 50% of the falling trees in our area have been found to be LIVE trees, so that makes it more difficult to remove them preventively, not to mention it can be prohibitively expensive. When we built our house, we had all the close trees removed to protect our house, but this process can be prohibitively expensive for poor people, and the tree surgeons work very hard and have to support their families - so of course, it wouldn&srquo;t be fair to ask them to do it pro bono.
It doesn&srquo;t take a deluge, either. Most every time it rains or storms, there are a few trees that fall. Every time this happens, I am reminded that our spiritual state is like the state of a tree. The problem can start with something small, like a light shower. In our lives, our spiritual downfall can start with something small - just one pot cigarette, one beer, one pornographic movie, one moment of flirting, one small misdemeanor shoplifting. One or two church services missed, one or two days without reading the Bible, one day without prayer. In my many years in court with victims of felonies, I saw this illustrated in every single court hearing, thousands of times. Someone starts with "just" stealing a bottle of Diet Coke, "just" fighting in school, "just" breaking in when no one is home - but most of them "graduate" to more and more serious offenses such as pistol whipping, armed robberies even against the handicapped and elderly, rape, murder - both in juvenile and adult court. As one parent sagely said recently in a large metro area after a school fight, after awhile, "these kids are not afraid of anyone." I have witnessed this myself. No respect for the authority of parents, grandparents, teachers, principals - not even police. They think they can do what they want.
Like in court, not only must protection and justice for the innocent be considered - bu the future must be thought of by PREVENTIVELY dealing with the present offenses. In our spiritual "disciplines," we need to quickly get back into reading the Bible, attending and serving in a local church, praying every day etc. And we need to have as deep roots as we possibly can, to hold us in the most challenging times.
Though trees WILL fall after severe drought, we do NOT have to fall.
As the prophet Jeremiah aptly announced, and is recorded in Jeremiah 17:7-8 (Tree Of Life)
Blessed is the one who trusts in Adonai,
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