August 8, 2018
Trees Shall Clap Their Hands
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh. – Jeremiah 17:7-8
One popular choice for landscaping in our region is the juniper bush, a shrub that remains green all year. It provides a sort of barrier around a yard, not allowing much grass or weeds to grow, although blackberries can still grow through the thick branches.
Such a shrub had reached gigantic proportions at the front of a pastor’s home in Dallas, Oregon, and he decided to replace it with a less invasive plant. He dug around the base of the plant and tried to pry it up with a shovel, but it was obviously more deeply rooted than it first appeared. He got out a garden hose and watered it down thoroughly, then tackled it again the next day with the shovel. It still did not give any evidence of letting go of the earth.
About that time, one of the Dallas parishioners came by with his new, heavy-duty pickup truck. What an opportunity to test its mettle! He was a man who rose to challenges, so he backed his new truck next to the juniper shrub. He and the pastor attached a heavy cable to the back bumper, wrapped the cable around that stubborn juniper, and got ready to pull.
He pulled ahead, leaving just enough cable slack to get a jump on it, and then gunned the pickup forward. As we watched, expecting that juniper to fly through the air (and hoping it would not hit the pickup), the juniper sat, still solid, next to the house. It now had a bumper attached, while the truck did not. I don’t recall how many more efforts it took man and pickup to finally remove that juniper, but I was definitely impressed.
Comparing this juniper to our Christian walk, we should be encouraged to plant our “roots” firmly in the Gospel. If we dig deep in our consecrations to the Lord, trusting Him to guide us in a right path, the storms of life will not move us. No power on earth can remove us from the love of God. Because we trust in the Creator of Heaven and earth, we can be like that juniper, deeply “rooted and grounded” (Ephesians 3:17). We shall not be moved!