Rooted in God’s Glory

It’s hard to believe it, but the other day I was finishing the annual leaf removal from our yard. The roof and gutters were cleaned, we raked the gardens, the yard was stripped of all the fallen leaves and dumped on our small forest floor. As I was finishing, I came to one of our large two trunked Scotch pines and I noticed something I had never seen. In its crevice I found a tiny pine sapling. There was just enough room between the trunks to cup a small clump of debris, and then a seed must have fallen there. It looked so precarious, so small, so vulnerable that I just knew it could not last. Life could not cling there, and the wind or rain would tear it out. Its fate seemed sealed.

That was many years ago and the tiny sapling still grows today. It has changed, it is stunted, but its roots have embedded themselves in the small crevice. It’s not going anywhere. It was saved from my leaf raking, saved from the mower, saved from being eaten by squirrels all because it clung to the most unlikely location possible to root itself and take hold.

Isaiah 11 says, “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.”

Being a person of faith can feel precarious. Clinging to hope in things unseen can leave us feeling vulnerable. This is the natural predicament of faith caught between the many “mighty” spires that surround us in this world: prestige, notoriety, amassing wealth, gaining power.

But God in Jesus Christ has shown us another way of assessing the situation. All of life is valuable. All of life is fleeting. All the mighty spires we worship and pour ourselves into- they will eventually be felled. And new life, new hope, new promises, shall gloriously spring forth from the most unlikely places.

Who are we to judge the things that truly last? Only God does this. And only by being rooted in God’s glory might we have eyes full of delight to witness the presence of the Lord, and, like Isaiah, prophesize the coming reign of Jesus Christ.

May your life spring forth such promise that your days will be a signal to all peoples that the Spirit of the Lord dwells in you, slowly growing, basking in the warmth of the sun, and remaining joyful as the seasons pass.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Nick

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