As the breeze gets cooler, the nights get longer, and the difficult year of 2020 comes to an end, I am reminded of how hardship can sometimes bring out the worst in us. But it can also bring out the best in us and make us more beautiful and connected. No doubt, we have endured a tough year collectively and individually and on top of things, it is easy to get lost in the hustle and stress amidst the Holidays.
I wanted to share with you that during this painting I was imagining standing by a tree, touching it, and feeling its enduring strength, only to be reminded of the strength and peace of mind that Christ offers through difficult times. The other day a friend took her time to be with me in the woods and pray for me. As I closed my eyes and listened to her prayer, I saw a tree, an image that often comes to me when I think of Christ.
This strong tree has survived years of storms, droughts, and floods, and exudes a strength that superseded my own. This image led me to remember the words that the book of Psalms shares. "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." - Psalm 46-1-3.
God is with us always, even though I walk away at times, God always chooses to be with me through grief, joy, friendship, and celebration. Brother Lawrence once said,
“The secret to the life of a tree is that it remains rooted in something deeper than itself.”
He is challenging us to think about where we are planting our root system when the sway, bend, and batter comes our way.
Wherever this message finds you today, I wish you a season filled with peace that passes ALL comprehension and understanding.
A season filled with courage to take small steps if weakness seems to overwhelm you.
And a season where hardship plunges your root system into richer and nourishing soil.
Jenny is one of the four creators of ENLACE’s Pilgrimage Advent Calendar
which can be ordered here.
Find more of Jenny’s blogs and artwork here.