Driving along the plains right outside of Amarillo, TX, the vastness of God is made evident through the enormity of the sky pressing down on flatness that trails into the distance. The sensation that you can see the curve of the earth is strong, along with the feeling that you are no more insignificant than an ant. This sight always reminds me that God doesn’t fit into anyone’s box.
On a road that looks like it will go on flat forever, there is a single tree I always recognize and remember. As a child, I was told an object lesson any time we passed it. This was a tree you normally saw growing straight and tall – but it didn’t. There was a huge crook in it where it began turning in a totally different direction, finally making its way back up toward the sunlight. It looked like it had once almost broken and decided to stick it out anyway. It was interesting, beautiful and unique. Its lesson was a good one.
I don’t just see God’s vastness in the sky of West Texas. The WIND reminds me of His power! For years after I’d moved to other cities, I would laugh when someone complained of a windy day. I knew that…if you didn’t have to dodge the car door after pushing your way out, because the wind would slam your arm off…it was just not that windy! The wind picked up dirt and scoured the paint off of things (or the skin…if you were out too long). It shoved 2 inches of snow into mounds that covered cars and prevented people from exiting a building. It was terrible for contact lens wearers (I can testify to this). AND – it pushed on that tree.
With nothing to break its power or force, the wind shoved against this lone tree in the middle of the prairie. It would have been easy to break. It would have been easy to die. Instead, the tree bent into the wind, digging its roots deep into the soil, creating a knot of strength where the pressure was most fierce. That, I was told, is like what we can do through hard times. We can dig into the solid foundation of Jesus Christ, bend and not break, and develop strength in the areas of testing.
- Psalm 16:8, “ I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
- Colossians 2:6-7, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
It’s not very far past the tree that what looks like more of the same going on forever drops off…and becomes a gorgeous inside-out mountain range. For after strength comes from trials, God is never predictable. He is the God of All Things Possible…and the next turn may bring unexpected depths and beauty.