So, I promised a storm related story you could use to encourage others. Here you go......
One of the first hurricanes Frank and I experienced together was actually while we were living in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. The islands along the coast of NC jut out into the Atlantic Ocean and end up catching wild weather more often than you would think.
We lived in a rural area with more pine trees than people. It had been an especially rainy summer. So, by the time that hurricane made landfall with its torrential downpours and winds topping 80 MPH, we had trouble on our hands.
After the storm passed us, we were left with hundreds of fallen trees littering the coastal areas. A couple of days later, we took the girls walking on a golf course so they could see some of the damage from the safety of the cart paths.
Huge oaks and pines alike lay stacked askew on one another. Aerial views showed something looking like a giant game of pixie sticks covering what had been carefully manicured lawns and golf courses.
The most fascinating thing to us was how the root beds of these trees remained in tact; many towering 8-10 feet high. Everyone knows tall trees must have a huge root system of support. But to see that circular pad exposed was rather awe inspiring.
Several months later, I was preaching in another church and used those massive root beds as an illustration for my sermon. I talked about the importance of developing a personal root system for life. One built on truth that will help us stay standing during the storms of life.
After service, the pastor (who had formerly been a farmer for many years) clued me in on "the rest of the story."
During years with lots of rain, water is abundant and trees will typically grow roots outward; just below the surface to collect it. But during times of drought, trees are required to put their energy toward growing a single tap root deep into the earth. Only then can they find the water they need to survive. Very little growth is visible above ground during those times, but the tap root keeps the tree alive.
When storms come, trees that have primarily developed only surface roots have nothing to anchor them. Toppling happens easily.
But trees that have survived the harshest droughts have a deep root system to hold them steady. They may bend and some branches will likely break off but when the storm passes, they'll still be standing.
Do you see the similarity between the trees and us as people? (I have tears in my eyes writing this.)
We all go through times of drought and difficulty. It seems everything takes so much more effort than it should. But during those times, we grow.
If we're wise, we grow deeper in the truths God has for us. We spend more time in prayer and reading the Word; along with books of encouragement. We don't try to figure it out on our own, we search out wise counsel to help us decipher what we're experiencing.
Then, when the storms come (and they surely will) we discover that the season of drought helped us develop a deep root system that keeps us standing until the winds subside. We may have to bend a little and we may come out of the storm looking a little different but we WILL Come Through!
The tap root of TRUTH will hold us steady.
My friend's experience as a farmer cultivating crops became wise counsel to me as someone who cultivates people. I hope this is encouraging to you, as well.
Blessings for your Sabbath!