Can you solve the mysteries of God? Can you discover everything about the Almighty? Such knowledge is higher than the heavens—and who are you? It is deeper than the underworld—what do you know?
It is broader than the earth and wider than the sea. – Job 11:7-9
The bark is a dark brown, and in some places shading to gray. It feels rough under my fingertips, bumpy with deep gouges. The trunk is huge, I can’t wrap my arms around it, and the many large branches shield me from the sun and much of a view of the sky. The leaves are green all year, and the moss that drapes over the branches drips moisture through most of the night.
I know this tree. It is a live oak, from my childhood in South Louisiana. It is majestic and beautiful and reminds me of home. It smells damp and woodsy and the smell comforts me.
The tree is part of a forest. What other trees are there, you may wonder? I have no idea. None. Nada. Zilch. The only tree I know is this one. I have a problem called “Can’t see my Forest for my Tree”. Maybe you’ve heard of it.
Here’s how it goes… I hurt, I can’t get out of bed today, I had another bad visit with a doctor who doesn’t want me as a patient, today is the 88th day since I have left the house (for anything), no one knows what is making me sick… and it goes on and on and on. What else is going on in my life? I don’t know. Not a clue. And some days I don’t have the energy to care.
Because my chronic illness, my pain, my disability can be so consuming that is drowns out everything else. My illness is my tree. I know it’s every surface, it’s width and height and girth, it’s smell. And some days that knowledge… knowing something in a life of so much uncertainty, so many questions and so much mystery… can actually be a comfort. It’s twisted, but true.
What I need to recognize, though, is that there’s a forest beyond my tree. And somewhere in that forest is hope, and joy, and promise. In that forest, working all around me and my tree, is GOD.
What He offers is real answers. Certainty, and an unveiling of truth. Actual comfort. Time to take my face away from my tree and find what God has to offer in the rest of the forest today. I don’t know what it will be, I don’t know where He will take me or what I will experience, but I have faith that it will be amazing. Because my God is.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9
Dear God, help me to see beyond myself and my circumstances today. Thank you for creating wonderful new things for me to experience! In Jesus’ Name, Amen…
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