“I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and cypress together, so that the people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41;19, 20)
I recently read of the mango tree in the Philippines. Typhoons frequently blow these large trees parallel to the ground and yet they do not die easily. The secret of their resilience lies in the root system. Not only does the original root system run deep enough to survive the storm, but the bowed branches form new roots as it lies on the ground.
How I long to be as that mango tree when illness and pain overwhelm me. To not only survive but to thrive because of unpleasant circumstance is true victory. I do not know for sure, but I doubt the tree is yielding many mangos at such a time. We would not find that to be disappointing though, because we can see it is none the less quite productive in another way.
I hope to keep the mango tree in mind the next time I am tempted to wish my circumstance be less stressful. When I see friends and relatives going off to activities, serving in the mission field, organizing retreats, and spearheading relief projects, I need to recall the low laying mango tree. I need to accept the season that I have been set in and let the branches form new roots that will multiply the yield. How can we do this? That is an individual matter to ask the Lord about.
For me it means writing of the lessons I am learning while bowed down low to the ground with physical infirmity. It is also my assignment to use my ‘down time’ to study His word. Our God is so creative that He has all sorts of jobs for His unique masterpieces. Writing letters or sending cards to encourage others, singing loud and proud to chase away the enemy, writing hymns, intercessory prayer for the church, or a phone call to an elderly person with long days. The list can get pretty long, each one a root.
Prayer: Lord, show me where I am to serve You when my pain is high and I feel poorly. You know how hard it is to get my mind off the pain, and I ask for Your help. Please send me ‘fruitful distractions’ that will become roots for future fruit as well. And Father, Thank you for making me as I am, uniquely fit to serve You as You show me. Amen.
About the author:
Elizabeth Vendley is the wife David, and lives in North Central Michigan. They have raised seven children. Elizabeth has lived with severe Interstitial Cystitis since 1996. Her passion is glorifying the Lord by writing out the lessons He has taught her. She would love to hear from readers through the Sunroom.
What sort of things do you have time and ability to do for the Lord today? Is He calling you to a deeper time of inner growth while you are ill? Ask Him to reveal what He would have you do. Even if it is simply repeating one verse throughout the day, we can do more than survive, we can THRIVE for Him.
Are you literally walking with God? This beautiful illustrated video is sure to touch you today as it plays a hymn in the background. -Lisa