A major storm hit our region back in June.
A few miles away from our front door, a teenage boy fell into the flood-swollen Beaver Creek. (I told the story about that boy over here at Ann Voskamp’s blog back in June.)
That boy was in danger of losing his life. His friends went for help, and found a man named John Lems, a retired firefighter.
John went down to the shore of Beaver Creek. But he didn’t do what you might think he’d do, in order to save a boy’s life. John didn’t throw the boy a life preserver or a rope or anything like that.
John knew that if the boy grabbed for a rope, he would have had to let go of the tree that was keeping him from going under fifteen feet of rushing water.
John said he could see how scared that boy was, and he knew how that river was awfully cold.
But he could also see this: He could see that the boy was strong. And that terrified boy would need to just. hang. on.
From the shore, John yelled to the boy: “Yes it’s cold! But I’m not going to throw you a rope! You’re going to be alright if you just hang on to that tree!’ ”
And so that boy hung on to the tree.
And he kept hanging on until the rescuers arrived.
When trouble comes – and trouble will come for all of us — when the river through your life swells and rages; or when the creek-bed cracks dry; when the storm marches across the sky, or maybe straight across your heart; you will be scared.
And it might feel cold. You might be tempted to grab for a sorry substitute, begging for the false hope of a rope.
But friend, you are strong. Hang on to the Tree that is even stronger. Hold tight to the tree that has already redeemed you, the tree that bore every ache you could fathom, the tree onto which every sin was nailed.
Hold on to the tree that held your Savior.
There’s nothing on earth that can uproot that tree or snap the Savior’s promise for you. Don’t let go.
You’ve already been rescued. The world and all its storms have already been overcome.
And when the storm passes by, you’ll find that the Calvary tree held firm.
You might be storm-stained and scarred and a bit broken, but look to the sky. For you’ll see it above you–
The heaving dark will have given way, at last, to the sun.
And you’ll know for sure, that the light has won.
Joining with Lisa-Jo Baker’s writing community
. Lisa-Jo asked us to write about the word TREE this week.
Are you in a storm?
Let me pray for you.
Are you on the shore?
Look in the river, because others are in the fight of their life. Help them find the tree.