I saw the tree standing tall at the edge of the field. Tall and strong with a magnificent crown of fiery red and gold leaves. Yet the inner leaves were still an emerald green, defying the lateness of the season. Within a week or so, the leaves will be scattered on the ground and the branches will be stark and bare, scratching against the clouds as October’s beauty fades. Strangely enough, this tree, even in the throes of its last gasp of color as it bows to the inevitability of fall, looks more alive now than it did in high summer.
“For when I am weak, than I am strong…”
2 Corinthians 12:10
Is this what Paul meant when he spoke of a humble heart being a pathway for God to exhibit his power? Just as the tree looks more beautiful as it surrenders to God’s seasonal plans for it, would I stand taller if I let God stand me up rather than rely on my own feet?
Only when we stop trying to call the shots will we see God’s plans start to unfold before us. Only when we admit that we are powerless and drop our pretensions like so many autumn leaves will we see “the Lord bare his holy arm” (Isaiah 52:10a) and then we will see that God truly does save, He does protect, He makes our lives worthwhile.
I stand at the edge of the field looking at the valiant maple tree allowing itself to be lulled into a state of dormancy by cooler temps and shorter days. In the midst of the tree’s weakness, I see the Master Artist pulling out colors so vivid they hurt my eyes. As the leaves flutter away on winds that bring a chill to the air, the tree looks more majestic somehow. In showing a vulnerability to its environment, God brings that tree a strength I hadn’t noticed before. And I can only hope that I will remember this when I am feeling beaten down by circumstances. I hope that I can let loose of all those things I hold too tightly and let God bring out all the vibrant colors that he has already placed with in me.
Lord, my weakness is meant to be filled by your strength. Sorry I keep getting in your way.
Let me be weak, for You are strength itself.