The snow and ice have lifted here in Texas, and much of our lives have resumed as normal, but the weight of the storm left a mark on homes, structures, and utilities that will take many months to repair, if at all.
Our bodies can face the same damage from storms in our lives. Abuse, striving, depression, idolatry, poverty, food insecurity—all of these traumas (and more) leave scars on our souls that are seen in our bodies. But if we are dependent upon God, we will be provided for, no matter the storm. He can restore us, repair us, fully redeem us. And if we acknowledge that we are either on our way out of, or on our way into a storm, we can help prepare ourselves.
Kind of like these braces my neighbors built for their trees. Phil and I spotted these while we were walking the dogs a couple days before the snovid storm was scheduled to hit. And I thought they were a beautiful picture of us bowing to God’s strength, depending on Him to provide, yet taking responsibility for His gifts to us.
Mesquite trees are valuable to Him. And we are too.
Most Texans will not go to great lengths, or any length, to construct braces to save Mesquite trees from heavy ice accumulation, possibly causing branches to snap and break. Mesquite trees have a bad reputation for being invasive drought-makers that are sparse in appearance with huge thorns. They’re commonly known here as trash trees—unless you’re chopping them into firewood to flavor your smoked dark meat.
But mesquite trees are also shade producers for wildlife, they are nitrogen-rich so they enrich the soil, and their beans are edible for humans and animals. God created them; Mesquite trees are valuable to Him. And we are too.
Do we believe we are valuable?
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7
Do we really believe Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross means we are worthy to God?
For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Put on the full armor of God.
If we really believe we are valuable to God, we will go to great lengths to protect ourselves. Ahead of time.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
Do we really live dependent on Him?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Or are we making our own happiness, no matter the costs, and shucking anything or anyone that doesn’t bring us joy?
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts throughout the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
This is love for God: to keep his commands.
Most Texans would have chopped these Mesquite trees down long ago. Maybe some people are trying to cut you down too. They don’t get the final say because they weren’t there the first day, when the earth was formed. God created you and placed value upon and within you.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
Do you believe you are worthy enough to brace yourselves from the storms?
In order to live loved by God, you must agree with Him and accept His love.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
And in order to spread His love to the world, you must love Him back.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know what we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. 1 John 5:1-3a
Bow to His strength, depend on His provision, and take responsibility for His gifts.
If your soul and your body are in need of major repairs, perhaps because you left yourself unguarded and susceptible to damage, or you never saw the storm coming, or you’re inclined to self-sabotage, there is only one place to go. Brace yourselves from the storms in Him.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
When we are proactive about our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health, we are bowing to God’s strength. We are admitting we know this life will have troubles and are acknowledging we are weak without Him. We don’t wait until it’s too late.
When we depend on God to provide, we know He has already overcome. We know we already have all we need. And we use what we have to love God and love others as ourselves. We don’t wait for more or better.
When we go out of our way (without getting in God’s way) to guard our hearts and protect our minds, bodies, and souls, we are taking responsibility for the blessings he has given us. We are stewarding His gifts well. Not tossing them in the trash or leaving them vulnerable to be cut down.
My prayer for you is that you will seek God’s presence in your life and know Him. Because if you do, you will experience healing through Christ and you will know true beauty comes from soul restoration, not physical beautification. And you will never want to go it alone again. Like me. Jesus didn’t go it alone. We cannot either.
P.S. If you want to take responsibility for the gifts God has given you, subscribe below! You’ll receive two emails per month with exclusive content and creative ways to make the most of it! Join us!