"The big tree is down! The big tree... it's down!!!"
I looked out the window, and I was utterly shocked.
When we moved into this house almost exactly two years ago, we found that the big, beautiful oak at the edge of the yard was actually dead. We were charmed by its beauty and the lovely tree swing hanging from its lowest branch, so we left it. Since then, the tree has slowly been losing branches. First, the tree swing branch came down. Then another large branch fell. We knew it was just a matter of time before we lost the entire tree to a storm or strong wind.
This morning, when my children told me, "The big tree is down!" I looked out, expecting to begin the mourning process for the dead tree. I thought I would see its remains littering our yard. Imagine my surprise to see it still standing straight and true, just where it has always been.
I looked to the right, and my shock deepened. The tree on the ground was a massive oak. We knew it had some dead branches and hollow places. There were several families of squirrels residing inside the tree. We've spent hours watching wildlife scamper and flit among this tree's branches. We've left food for the squirrels at the base of the trunk. But now? Now it is laying on the ground, broken, uprooted, and dying.
We will mourn the loss of this big, beautiful tree and the life it has provided in our yard.
Many things in this life are out of our control. Things happen every day that cause pain, heartache, disappointment, and loss. And we can't control them any more than we can control the wind that took down my tree. In the midst of those storms, it is tempting to look around and ask, "Why, Lord? Why this? Why now?" It is easy to see how people come to be angry at God when things don't seem to be fair or to make sense.
Why did You take this person and leave that one, God? This person was providing for his family, he was a light to his friends. He devoted his life to following You. Why?
Why is my child sick? I've followed You and trusted You, and now my child is very ill. Why?
Why didn't I get that promotion? I've worked harder than anyone in this place, but I keep being overlooked. Why?
Why aren't my dreams coming true? Everyone else's dreams are happening all around me. But I'm still here, sad and lonely, with nothing to show for it. Why?
Why did You take this tree that was still alive and leave the one that was already dead? This tree provides shelter and food for many creatures in my yard. Why this one, God? Why not the other? We were expecting to lose the dead tree. We weren't ready to lose this one yet. Why?
Why? Why? Why?
In those hard moments, we sometimes forget the wealth of promises that God has already given us. He promises that He has a plan for our lives (Jer 29:11). He tells us of his deep, abiding love for us (John 3:16). He even promises us protection.
|Copyright 2015 Devon Atkins|
Sometimes things happen in life that don't seem to make any sense. We are left wondering why. I don't have an answer, but I know the One who does. In those hard moments, in those moments when I don't understand, I know that the only thing I can do is cling to the One who can answer every why. When life is out of my control, I can rest in knowing that the One who is in control has got me covered. He has commanded His angels to guard me. That's when I have to rely on faith, even when faith doesn't make sense.
Lord, when the winds of change blow and trees begin to fall around me, help me to trust You. Help me to lean further into Your grace and protection. Remind me that You have ordered Your angels to cover me. Help me to bring you all of my why questions and to be content in knowing that You have an answer. I want to let go of trying to control my life so that I can turn it over to You. Amen.
This post is part of #livefreeThursday with the wonderful women over at Suzie Eller's blog, tsuzanneeller.com. Check out the links there for more encouragement.