Editorial Note: Please understand that this is not about our poor, silly old truck but rather about what I learned from the tree. My heart is heavy for those who had their lives rearranged by Ike, and my prayers are with them.

When Hurricane Ike blew through Illinois yesterday, he left his calling card. It was the last storm for one of our three ancient tress in the fence row, and when it went down it had a slightly softer landing than we would've liked. The topmost branches took out the windshield and hood of old Sugar Pile—that old truck that I drove through downtown Chicago. But God was so good! The tree landed between the shed and the barn, only left a couple minor dents and scrapes on Jim's work van, and did no damage to the tractor that we use far more often than ol' Sugar Pile.

With insides hollowed out by rot, great trees snap, destroying anything in their path and showing those around exactly what was on the inside, hidden and covered by the bark of a good, solid life. From a distance, the tree looked fine. Rough, but seemingly healthy. Only those who were close enough, and were looking, would have seen the spot where the rot began, and the extent of the decay. That's why the Bible says:
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; ~Hebrews12:15

That root of bitterness will hollow out our insides just as surely as rot hollows an oak. When we're hollowed by bitterness, we'll eventually snap in a storm, too, leaving all our bitterness and rottenness exposed for any and all to see. It's not a pretty sight.

What happens to the trees once they're down? They're cut up and burned. Usually the ones that have snapped are not usable for anything beyond firewood, and even then, some of it doesn't even burn well.

If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire. ~I Corinthians 3:15

That's not what I want for my life. I want my life to gather crowns so I have something to lay at the feet of Jesus. That means I need to dig out any root of bitterness before it eats away my insides, leaving me hollow and weak.


  1. So sorry about your tree and Old Sugar, and I'm glad the damage wasn't more extensive. Great lesson in this though. I suspect you're collecting a bunch of crowns - another great job!

  2. Excellent lesson-- for all of us. Sowwy about your tree and that ol' truck. Wonderful

  3. Patty, great Post! God has given you a terrific way of relating things that happen to us in the natural to spiritual lessons. Great job! God bless!
    And sorry for your loss:(

  4. Wow, ouch, poor truck! Poor tree~

    Incredible analogy. Written beautifully with a message I won't soon forget.

  5. So glad your damage was minimal!! Very good post!

  6. We had a big tree come down near us recently too. Good analogy! Too bad for Jim's Sugar Pile!


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