So, I’ll admit… I’m posting this because I need it. This article is something I wrote back in April and its truths that God gave hit just about every corner of my life at the time.
Last night, I was lovingly and carefully handed some information that could’ve broken me… But God allowed it to make me stronger instead. I found three minutes of true “alone time” (hard to find here) and brokenly reminded God that I didn’t understand where my heart stood, nor how to depend on Him until the storm passed. The question, “How could you want this from us?!” came up; and just like my God He reminded me of this article. He reminded me that all He asked from myself and my loved ones is that we bow under pressure and remember our roots found in Him.
I never thought God would use something as pitiful and awkward as an Alaska Birch tree to deepen my walk with Him. But that’s exactly what I found my God doing during a routine trip to Anchorage. At one point, while observing the millions of Birch trees in the mountains, I found myself near tears basking in God’s ability to whisper Truth to me when no one else was listening.
Trees in Alaska are somewhat of a joke. Most of the Pine trees are infested by beetle kill, so lusciously green trees are rarely seen. Birch trees are interesting, but in the winter, they simply remind me of twigs that you can snap with your little finger. You don’t come to Alaska to enjoy the trees. You come to enjoy mountains.
Imagine my shock when the words I heard from God were not, “look at my mountains, Child.” But rather He seemed to be shouting excitedly, “Look at my majestic birch trees, Dearest! Aren’t they breathtaking?!” Really, Lord? Are you sure?
A large majority of the Birch in many parts of Alaska are somehow bent, as if bowing to an unseen Master. They are not, however, broken. Logically, this is done by the large velocity of winds that come off the mountains. It’s an every day sight to see a birch tree bowing from the wind or the snow; but today it somehow took my breath away.
“These birch trees are how I long to see your heart, Child.” I smirked as I slowly started to understand the picture God was painting for me. Seriously? My heart is under ulcer forming anxiety and God tells me to be like these wimpy birches? What exactly, was I missing? Certainly, I was more than ready to see a blessing from my Master in anything, but why did this feel like such a big breakthrough? The object lesson was a simple tree? Why?!
“These trees don’t look like much, but they’re Mine. You don’t see the root systems below them, so you don’t comprehend that they are stronger than you could ever imagine. They are bowing under the great adversity of the wind- but they are not broken. Some look worn bare, but they’re still alive. Some are bowing so low they’ve become a meal for the critters, but they are still growing. Year after year, Precious One, these trees stay alive because they are bowing to Me. In a way, as they bow low to the ground, imagine them looking for their root system. They know they will not break because I have planted their root system so deeply that strong winds and heavy snows cannot harm them unto death. They’re beautiful because of what they’ve survived. They tell a story to everyone, yet few hear it.”
“Remember this, Child of Mine. You may bend under adversity to the point that you feel as if you’ll break; but find your root in me, and you never will. When you get so weighted down by your life, bow down and truly study your roots that I have built in you. As you do that, you may get chewed on by an enemy, you may even feel weakened by the weight of bending so low to study so long. But you will not break, because I will not let you. And the stories that waltz you into Glory – the stories your life will write – will be your greatest beauty. But that beauty will not be yours unless you learn to bow under adversity.”
I felt my heart catch in my throat as all my defenses were torn down and I saw God’s Truth in full. God had hidden a lesson in plain sight in His creation. I was to go through life bowing as the Birch trees did.
As I pondered this new found truth, my eyes caught a tree that had actually snapped in half over time. Hearing my unspoken question, my Master quietly whispered, “That Beauty was- and still is- mine. However, it chose to fight adversity on its own. Be careful, Beloved. The world can make you believe you are strong enough without a root system planted in Me. The winds will prove otherwise. Learn to fight back. Learn to bow when it hurts the most.”