Death of a Tree

On Tuesday night Minnesota (along with most of the Midwest) one of those "storms of the century." The state recorded the lowest pressure on record. We had winds up above 70 miles per hour. It was a good time to see how airtight our house is. We didn't notice any drafts. And the house didn't shake much (we could always feel my parents' home slightly sway in heavy winds growing up). Just a little rattling of the windows.

At 5am, though, I awoke to the sound of our doorbell ringing. Our neighbor was letting me know that the tree by the driveway and garage was leaning over. So, I went out in the wind and the snow and moved the car which was right under the tree. The tree stayed at about a 45 degree angle (it seemed to be held up by one strong electrical wire and a few branches of another tree. The city came and removed it this afternoon (not quite soon enough for us, but we're not going to complain much since we didn't have to pay for it).
I'm not going to try to make some spiritual connection with the event. Usually I could make some connection about how if we need to grow deep roots to anchor us through the storms, but the tree should have had a fairly good root system. I don't know why it fell over while other trees on the block didn't (there were trees down in places across the city). It just fell.

It's kind of one of those why-do-good-things-happen-to-bad-people kind of questions--like the book of Job poses. There is no simple answer, other than we live in a fallen world. The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike.
Too many people try to sell a "health and wealth gospel," deceiving people into believing that if you follow God all your woes will go away. If you're poor or sick, you just need faith, then you'll become rich and healthy.

Frankly, that's a lot of bunk. Try telling that to the thousands of people who are martyred each year for their faith. I don't see health and wealth anywhere in the Bible. Instead I see promises of persecution and being hated by the world if we follow Jesus. It's not a good lure to draw people in, but it's also the reality. However, God does promise His presence with us. He promises to give us strength. He promises the riches of eternity with Him.

The storms will come in life. And there may be times when we do our best, but we get blown over. No matter how deep our roots are. No matter how strong we are. But we're not abandoned--God is present. Sometimes He feels more present then than ever.

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