The Storm

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
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Listen while you read: "A Child Of The King"1 (Lyrics)

Mark 4:17 – But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. (NIV)

The tree was a gift from my parents when we bought our first house 17 years ago. It was a mountain-ash that fit into their vehicle to be brought to us. The tree has grown substantially over the years to a present height of about 25 feet. Over the years, it has battled both wet and dry summers, and at one point, disease that threatened its existence. This year, though, boasting a few feet in new height this spring, by summer, it was so loaded with berries that some of the branches of the mountain-ash were touching the grass. It was destined to be a feast of berries for the waxwings that flock in droves over the winter to feast — that is, until the storm hit.

The storm moved in quickly on the first Sunday of August. We captured many pictures of green skies and daunting black clouds. As I watched the storm approach, I had no idea what was about to unfold. In a matter of minutes, my 25-foot mountain-ash lay horizontal on our front yard. The storm passed quickly, and in shock, we went out to survey the damage. Up and down the street, only our tree and one much smaller tree seemed to have been affected. Using our vehicle and a large strap, we stood the tree upright and secured it into place. Not one branch was broken and no berries had fallen to the lawn. We will leave the tree supported until spring. A few weeks after the event, the tree still seems to be doing okay.

I asked, Why our tree, when so many were untouched? I have spent time reading about this tree, and it appears that the root system is very strong and deep, so why did it uproot? The wind that came through that day was a "straight-line wind", and with an open lot and the road across from us, the wind had a lot of power as it passed through.

This experience also has me thinking about my own roots. Am I planted deep with the Lord, or when a crisis comes my way, do I lean and fall over? Storms of life can hit us personally just as fast, and the world is watching us closely to see how we handle them.

Ephesians 3:17b-18 – I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. (NIV 2011)

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we know that the storms will come; help us to remain strong in You. We ask that You would grow us in strength so that we can be a light and strength to others during the storms of life. In Your name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Julie Bowles <>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good word today Julie.

    Good one Julie! Thank you.

    Excellent devotional and very timely! Thank you!!

    Dear Julie, An awesome devotional today!! Thanks for sharing with all.

    Praying that the winds of a changing world will not uproot any of us from the rich soil of our faith in Jesus Christ.

    As I read the devotional this morning, I thought of how fitting this passage from Ephesians is as we begin to listen to one another at Presbytery.

    Julie, thanks so much for your Mountain Ash illustration and vivid reminder of the importance of being deeply rooted in Christ and His love. Such an encouragement!

    The native people (in Grey County) taught my family that Mountain Ash are there for the birds to be fed in the winter. If your tree is loaded with berries, beware it is to be a tough winter but the birds will come and feed as necessary. Somehow I think your tree going down but looking like, with help, it can be restored, there must be a message you just do not understand yet.
    Good luck. It was always recommended people plant a mountain ash tree. They usually grow to about 25 ft very rapidly. They grow berries for the birds. They are strong enough that young kids can climb them and you have shade.
    What more do we need.

    Oh don’t we all have to check our roots from time to time??

    Dear Julie,
    Thanks for the devotional.
    Our Lord, who gave himself for our sins, and who loves us eternally, has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.
    Keep writing.

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