Trees were an important part of my childhood. Some of my fondest memories are wrapped around the enormous ficus tree, which lived in the center of our cul de sac.
The Ficus branches were enough for all the children on the street to claim their own. And with seniority came the right to move up to the higher heights. Additionally, the location of the ficus represented the official location of home plate for all kickball games. For our neighborhood cookouts this mammoth umbrella provided ample shade and extra seating.
The tree which most represents home for me though is the palm. Anytime I cross the Florida line and see the tall slender palms waving hello my heart knows it has arrived. The homes in which I grew up were filled with a variety of palms, and some produced the most tasty, fresh fruit. Sweet, tiny bananas and coconuts still containing the delicious milk.
So, when we arrived in LA a few weeks ago, I smiled deep at the palm branch welcoming committee! And, I was amazed at the height of these elegantly tall and slender stalks topped with brilliant green. All the television and movie images of tree lined palms captured from the ground up were right before my eyes.
As we walked the California Pacific coastline for the first time, we found some of the majestic palms had been unearthed by water erosion – possibly from multiple storms. Amazing isn’t it?
This visual really got the wheels of my mind turning. How could these giant and very slender trees continue to stand straight with more than half of the earth removed?
It’s not the earth around the tree that holds it firm. Rather, it is the tentacle like roots, numerous and deeply dug into the earth and rock below, which cause that delicate yet strong palm to withstand the buffeting of many storms. I could only stand and imagine the number of times the intricate root system had held her firm against hurricane force winds, rain, and waves.
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7
I feel a lot like that beautiful palm. People throughout my life have made comments to me indicating how little I am or tiny. I’ve heard most of my life that I might just blow away in a heavy storm or a strong wind.
Not true at all. In Christ my roots are the many truths of God – like tentacles dug deep in a bedrock foundation. I’ve weathered many storms, and I’m sure there are many more to come. However, my favorite palm trees with roots exposed remind me that I am able to stand firm no matter what comes against.
Oh, I might bend, and I might feel exposed, however…
Deeply rooted in Christ alone, I stand!
That’s how I see it! What do you think?
Eyes on Jesus and SHINE,