For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining, is to let it rain.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Throughout the past few days as I have been out and about, I have seen a great number of damaged trees from recent storms. Among many branches, there have been toppled trees, exposing the underside of the root systems that used to hold them upright. Then there have been trees leaning and resting upon the trunk or branches of a nearby tree. Finally, I have seen trees where the trunk simply snapped, leaving an inside view of what seems to be sturdy, living wood. Clearly, the root systems of these snapped trees were healthy; otherwise, the trees would have toppled.
However, even if a tree trunk is in perfect health, its root system is top notch, and the ground around it is not over-saturated, it can still withstand only so much force before succumbing to it. In fact, scientific studies have shown that once wind gusts reach 94 miles per hour, healthy trees with good ground conditions begin to snap and/or topple. Now, thankfully, the storms that blew through the area I live in did not have wind gusts that high. For these snapped trees, it is likely that there was some sort of imperfection, even if slight, causing weakness in their trunks. With time, culminating with the recent storms, it led to their downfall—through no fault of their own.
Taking in the view of these fallen trees, I cannot help but think that there is so much more to them than wood on the ground. At times it can be tempting to think that strong, healthy roots—a strong foundation—is the cure all. However, these broken trees are a good reminder that very few things are set in stone; also that black and white always make a shade of gray, whether we like it or not.
It is not very different with faith. There is so much more to it than any formula could ever capture. Whether high up in the sky or on the ground, there is always so much more than what meets the eye.
I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.
– Jeremiah 31:33-34