Two trees grow a field’s breadth away from me in the direct line of vision from my family room couch.
They intrigue me.
I believe they are Blue Oaks, a type of oak native to Northern California. One leans against the other, its trunk leaning to the left from my vantage point.
Their leafy branches are so intertwined that you can’t tell where one stops and the other begins.
I’ve been told that Blue Oaks are known for that. For supporting other trees that need help standing up.
This simple scenario has been in my full view for nearly a year but I’ve never noticed it until today, and now I can’t see past its beautiful analogy.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
Leaning. If we depend only on ourselves without the proper support, we’re bound to fall when the winds of life blow strong and hard and relentless. Just like the tree I’m looking at right now. There is no way it would still be standing if it weren’t for the support of the tree next to it, holding it up against all that may come its way.
The same is true if I just lean on my “own understanding”. If I depend on my own intellect or reasoning I am going to be sadly disappointed when the unreasonable and unexplainable things of life happen. If I rely on my own savvy or gut feelings and those things fail me, I’m not going to know which direction to go. There are circumstances in life that happen without warning. Those that come without a set of prescribed instructions. Things that defy our ability to understand and navigate through.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” This is saying to me, “get out of your own head, your own sense of reasoning and explanation, and trust me with your HEART.”
If I trust God with all my heart, knowing HIS heart of love and protection and purpose and plan, then I can release the death grip I have on trying to understand everything. I can trust because I know Him. And knowing Him means I can let go of having to know the unknown of future circumstances.
If I am trusting, then like that beautiful blue oak, I am leaning. Letting His strength support and guide me in my upward growth.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Connecting with Him in such a way that every decision is made through His counsel, every opportunity viewed through the truth of His word and the still, small voice of His Spirit. Our branches intermingling. My identity becoming one with His.
The trees I once overlooked will always be in the forefront of my vision and mind every time I sit on my couch now. A reminder. A visual prompt of a spiritual reality. The beautiful necessity of leaning…