The photo above is of a remarkable tree that I came across this past weekend while out for a walk. As soon as I saw it I was taken aback at the boldness of its presence.
I also surprised myself when I realized my first thought when I saw this magnificent oak was, "I can relate to that tree!"
This mighty oak still has an imposing presence, but very different from what it used to have. Now it is a mangled mess from having survived a fire. It has been burned bare and blackened, and yet it still stands with a defiant demeanor. Fire raged over its massive trunk and powerful branches, and seared away the exterior beauty, but the tree defeated nature's attack and is slowly being restored.
There have been times I've felt like that tree.
I bet you have, too.
Times when fiery trials have swept through our lives and wreaked havoc. Afterward, we may not have looked as pretty or felt as strong, but we made it through and defied what the enemy and this world threw at us.
As I observed that grand old tree, these words from the prophet Isaiah resonated with me ...
"But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, 'Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through waters of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you'," Isaiah 43:2.
As I read that passage, it's as if the prophet penned it as a personal message from God to me.
And to you.
We will have trouble in this world. The fires will come, but Jesus personally gave us soothing words of assurance about what we might face in this life ...
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world," John 16:33.
If there's a fire of trouble in your life right now, friend, let me encourage you to take heart! Jesus has overcome this world! He will see you through and you can have peace in Him!