Today, I saw a tree growing through the crack in the pavement. Trees are strong. I recently heard a story about how a tree root muddled up someone's entire sewer system.
The roots of the tree sought out water. They fought thier way through cement and pipe to find it. Trees are tenacious, stubborn.. and roots stop at nothing to survive.
Trees fight to live.
Do you think it's coincidence that the Bible alludes to the children of God as "trees"?
"They shall be called Oaks of Righeousness, the plantings of our LORD" Isaiah 61:
"He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:8
No, it is no coincidence that God's children are called trees.
Today, I was thinking about fighters. Not fighters who engage in brawls.. .. I was thinking of those with determination, drive..moxy..those that fight with the mind,,, People with spirit. People who, despite the thorns that life has placed into their hands, still get down in the dirt and dig. The fighters who search.. who fearlessly brave the odds and relentlessly pursue the mark. ..Those who fight to live...
I look back to when I was a young child. I remember "the cat."
I was probably about seven or eight. I remember having heard the horrific news that a stray kitten that had lodged himself in the motor of my parent's car. ..It was pretty bad... imagine a quasi mangled kitty.
He was suffering and my dad did something that he thought would end it's misery. Something that involves blunt force trauma that disturbs me too much to even mention.
Keep in mind, my dad was only trying to end the kitten's suffering.
So, having determined the cat was dead, my dad brought it to the field next to the house.
and then the most unexpected thing happened..
The kitten came back.
I don't know if it was several days later. Or several hours later. Time has erased those details from my mind..But I do remember the clamor and the awe at the tenacity of the kitten as he came wobbly, but bravely marching back like a wounded soldier..into the yard. The kitten that defied reason. The kitten that pushed on despite the fraility and brokeness in body... the kitten that endured unreasonable amounts of pain and suffering...and here he comes..like some fierce and fuzzy little warrior rising beautiful out of ash.
I think of a story I read about on pinterest. The story of a surgical procedure on a tiny little babe, still in the womb. During the procedure, he reaches his little hand out of a hole in the mother's belly..he grabs the hand of the doctor as if to say, "thank you." ...I think that little hand was saying, "I'm holding on. I'm a fighter. Life is worth living and I haven't even seen what it has to offer."
This baby's little hand reached out like a tiny branch..and said, "I am a tree. I fight to live."
Here is the picture and the story...
Don't worry, the surgery was a success. I read the story. The baby is a tree!
I think about my own son, Cade.
When Cade was in the womb, he had a fierce determination to see the world.
At around 25 weeks, he threatened to come out. It was as if he was determined to see the world and he couldn't wait to see it's spendor.. he was tenacious.
So, they put me on bed rest. It was as if, if I was up and stirring, his desire to see the world of light and color, only increased. So I quit stirring. I laid down. for three months. ..straight.
Then, comes the time for delivery. Imagine several hours into a natural birth....a nurse discovers the umbilical cord wrapped around his tiny neck. If I had pushed, it would've acted as a noose. So, they rushed me into another room and performed an emergency cesarean. And my bright eyed, inquisitive little boy finally got to see the world..in all of it's splendor. He is a fighter.
Yesterday I read a news article about a baby born at 23 weeks. At 23 weeks, most babies do not survive. The lungs aren't fully developed. There are complications. Somewhere in some foreign part of the world a mother gave birth to a baby at 23 weeks. The doctors thought the baby was dead. They put his little body in a refridgeration unit at the morgue. The parent's went to say thier final goodbyes and they heard a tiny cry. They saw the baby move. They wrapped up his icy little body and rushed him to the neonatal unit. He was alive, mistaken for dead..breathing on his own and amazing doctors and the entire world with his beautfully stubborn desire to live.
I've always been the stubborn sort..
In the past, I've been persistent, stubborn, and moderately obsessive. I fought for acceptance and approval. Once, I had a crush on my college English professor. I was determined to impress him. I must have spent a few hours a day solely studying English. We would have to write papers on fictional stories. I must've spent hours mustering over words..devising the perfect paper. MY professor was known as one that didn't give out A's. I think I was the only one to make an A in his class. I worked hard for a desire for approval. I was driven..
Anytime I wanted to impress a guy, I always thought I had to be rail thin. Truthfully, I always recieved compliments when I was a certain weight...so I strived to push harder and further..I became obsessive and attention only fueled my drive. I guess, in a nutshell, I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be noticed. And I fought for it. I am a natural born fighter.
I guess the purpose of this entire post is to tell you that you don't have to fight for love. God has freely given it to you through His Son, Christ Jesus. We should strive to impress One..everything else is vanity and toiling under the sun.
I want to let you know,...that
You are brave and strong. You are fierce. You are a fighter. You are a tree. You are the Oak of Righteousness that braves the roughest of winds. Keep fighting, because there is much to fight for..
I can't help but think of all of my friends who run marathons..those who work and work to achieve a goal.
You are fighters. If each one would put even half of thier passion, into pursing the Cross and loving others, you would be unstoppable.
I think of those who fight to survive. Those who fight for life..the cat..the precious little fighter grasping the hand of the doctor.. As Christians, essentially that is what we fight for..
The darkness kills. It destroys. The darkness wears the mask of death. But, as Christians, we see the light and we recognize it as Life..
Life that says, in order to live, you first must die.
What are you fighting for? What is the fuel that moves you?