Do you ever feel stretched to the limit? To the breaking point?
At our family property on the river is a limb that stretches out over the water. I used to hear my mother say her father swore it would break off in the next flood…over and over. Then she said it. All my life I have watched it survive flood after flood. But it keeps growing and stretching out over the water.
When my mother was a child, it came out to the second tuft of branches you see, the ones hanging down toward the water by the backdrop of the white cement of the “old dock”. When I was a child, it had grown to the length of the third tufts, right under where you see the blue raft perched on the dock. When my son was a child, it had grown to the little notch before it bows up again. He is now in his thirties.
It seems floods give it even more gumption to grow! A tree expert once told us the branch’s strength is in the fact that it has kept stretching. It remains pliable and can bounce and dip with the waves when the flood waters rage.
It makes me think of our lives as believers. If we can keep stretching towards Christ (The Living Water) and still stay attached to Him (The Vine), even if our lives flood with stress and bad happenings, we can bounce back time and time again.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:3
Prosper as in grow.
Swimmers and canoers stop by our branch daily during the summer months and can’t help but grab onto it. Fishermen dangle traut lines off of it hoping to catch dinner. Daring folk, young and old, try to tightrope walk it. Generations have grown up watching that limb, fascinated by it. Strangers point at it and marvel.
May my life be like that.
Lord, keep stretching me to reach out to You, knowing that You will be my strength despite the odds. Keep me pliable to Your will. Help me to stay anchored to You, the eternal vine- trunk, no matter what comes my way or what others say. In You alone can my hope be found. Let me branch out and draw others to you, fascinated by my growth. To You be the honor and glory. Amen.