Yesterday it snowed. And when I say it snowed, I mean it snowed. Eight whole inches, maybe more. And trust me, that’s a lot where I come from.
I woke up yesterday morning to a beautiful sight out of my bedroom window: my backyard, covered in snow. We haven’t had snow like that in a long time. It was amazing.
I immediately had two thoughts: first, that I wanted to go out and take pictures of this beautiful snowy sight (crude and poor quality though they may be 😦 ), and second, that I wanted to post them on my blog. So here I am!
This was what met me as I walked out of my back door yesterday morning. Beautiful, isn’t it? There was only one thing to dampen the joy of seeing such beauty. Two of our trees—our very favorite trees in our yard, our two Japanese Red Maples—had fallen. They split right down the middle of their trunks because of the weight of the snow. We were so sad.
But as I walked out to take a closer look at these fallen trees, I noticed something very interesting… something that I thought might serve as a fascinating object lesson. Next to each of the fallen trees—these trees that had stood so tall and strong only a few hours before—stood two other trees.
The first of the other trees was an “umbrella tree” that had been having issues a few months ago, making it necessary that it be tethered to another tree in order to stand. For months, it’s been standing there, unable to support itself on its own, too feeble to hold up its own weight, a symbol of weakness. But when the snow came… it stood.
Our little umbrella tree, bent over though it may be, kept standing, even with the incredible weight of snow on it… the weight that was too great for the beautiful Japanese Red Maple to withstand. The Japanese Red Maple split down the middle. The umbrella tree? Not so.
I walked over to the other Japanese Red Maple that had also split down the middle. Ironically, another tree stood next to this fallen beauty… and this tree, too, was weak. This other tree was a young plum tree. It was so weak it needed to be tied to a metal rod that my father stuck in the ground. Without that metal rod, it would topple over and die. Talk about weakness! But when the snow came… it stood, too.
I knew this was a good analogy of something, but it wasn’t until a few minutes ago that I really landed on a good one. It’s based off this verse:
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
And this one…
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)
The Japanese Red Maples were (seemingly) strong. They stood tall and proud. No one—no one—would have suspected that they would fall. The other trees, on the other hand—the plum and umbrella trees—appeared so very weak. Anyone could look at them and think they were in a bad place. So weak! So completely unable to so much as stand up on their own!
There are people who appear to be strong and self-sufficient. No one would suspect them of having anything but a strong Christian walk. No one would ever think them of being prone to fall. And there are also those who appear weak. They may be beaten down by trials, or have a physical disability or illness, or something else that makes them lack that appearance of great strength.
But, like the trees, it is often those people who appear weak who are able to withstand the trials. And it is often the “strong” that fall.
Why? Because those who are strong rely only on themselves. They don’t need anything supporting them. But the weak? They need to depend on something—or Someone—else for their very existence. So when the trials come, they are already depending on God. That makes it that much easier for them to stand.
It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for the weak to be the only ones that withstand the storm. But, if you think about it, they’re not relying on their own strength, but on Someone else’s.
In the good times, when the sun is shining, we may appear strong on our own. We might look like we are able to support ourselves. But when the snowstorm comes, the snow will be too much for us to handle on our own. We will fall under the weight of it.
It is only as we abide in Christ that we are able to stand.
That’s how the weak are able to withstand the snow. They are already depending—totally and utterly—on Jesus. When the snow comes, it’s way too heavy for them, but not for their Savior. He carries the weight of it, and they stand.
This is challenging to me. Too often, I have the appearance of strength in my Christian walk, but I’m not totally and utterly depending on Jesus. Too often, I’m not preparing for the snowstorm—and it will come—but instead, I’m merely satisfied with my semblance of strength. That’s why my prayer today is that I would be one who depends totally and utterly on my Savior.
Because it’s those who depend on Christ—even in their weakness—who will stand.
I hope everyone stays safe in this cold and icy weather… and for those of you who are enjoying the sun this week, wear sunscreen! 🙂
Leave me a comment below! Tell me all about:
- Your favorite things to do in the snow,
- A great snow analogy, or
- Helpful tips on depending totally and utterly on God.
Until next time!