Man! Was that ever a crazy ice storm we got pounded with this past week! I could barely sleep from the roaring of the wind! When I woke the next day I couldn’t believe the damage Mother Nature performed to our property. I live on quite a wooded piece of land and all the trees took quite a beating.
In the front of my home, I have a beautiful birch tree that stood tall and proud on our property line. I love birch trees, and we had to cut down quite a few to build our home. I did leave 1 on our front lawn. There are many more birch trees scattered among the other trees in the back of our property. After the storm, all the trees were covered in a thick layer of ice but the one lonely tree on our front lawn was completely bowed down touching the street in front of it.
My heart broke for this one isolated tree! The storm definitely defeated my arbor friend. As I put its saddened state on Facebook, one of my friends reassured me that birch trees are tough and resilient and they will bounce back after this storm to normal, if not even stronger.
I set out to research this and found out that in general, if less than 50 percent of the tree is damaged, and they are bent in less than a 45 degree angle, the tree has a good chance of survival. What a relief it was to read this!
As I reevaluated my birch tree situations, and tried to eyeball the angle of tilt of my beloved birch trees I noticed that the birch trees in our back yard definitely stood a chance of survival, but the one solitary birch tree in the front was definitely on more than a 45 degree tilt. The other birch trees had the rest of the forest protecting them from this nasty ice storm, but the lonesome tree in front was left to defend off Mother Nature solo, and Mother Nature definitely won the battle.
This forest dynamics that I learned about is very parallel to what happens in our lives. We are also made to live through storms. How many of you have been blasted with many different kinds of troubles and turmoil and didn’t think you were going to make it through the storm?
We are built like the birch trees in the forest. We can take a lot of life burdens weighing us down. Just when you think you can’t take anymore of life’s icicles tugging at your branches, you find yourself bending just a little further and still able to hold onto the earth with your roots. You might lose a branch or two, but after the storm clears and the sun starts to shine its beautiful, loving rays of sunshine on your cold life, your icicles start to melt and little by little, the damage that was done starts to lift.
Days, weeks, months…maybe even years will pass and bit by bit, you are finding that you are finally like these bent over birch trees. Standing tall and stronger than before. Similar to these white barked trees you are resilient to the storms of life. During these storms, be like the trees in the forest. Surround yourself with the people you love that can prevent you from being damaged more than 50 percent. Frame your world with positive people that are going to lift you up and encourage your survival through the storm.
Remember during your next ice storm of life, James 1:12 promises, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
We all have to go through our storms. It’s inevitable. Please remind yourself of God’s promises and don’t be like my sweet solo tree, braving the elements of the storm alone. It’s harder to survive when you are going this journey alone and chances are you will crack under the pressure of all life’s icy ways. Engulf yourself in the forest of God’s word and get yourself around others that have went through the same type of storm who will ensure you that once you live through this horrible part, the calm after the storm is even more beautiful than you can ever imagine!