A few weeks ago I was laying in the hammock in my backyard, enjoying the warm Cleveland weather, staring up at the massive trees all around me.
Like ya do.
While I was there, I started thinking about everything “going wrong” for Christianity. From ISIS to elections to atheism to red cups, it seems like every week there’s a new threat to Christianity. People talk as if the Christian faith is in danger of extinction. Some suggest it’s an antiquated religion no longer relevant in a progressive culture. Some say it’ll be overthrown by more militant religions or be swept away by different ideologies. And I found myself wondering if it could be true.
I wondered if it were really possible for Christianity to be wiped off the face of the Earth. Sure, I’m a pastor so I’m supposed to know with 100% certainty that it’s not possible. And yes, I know what God’s Word says, but knowing in your mind sometimes comes easier than knowing in your heart.
In this moment, my heart wasn’t so sure.
As I thought and wondered and prayed, I noticed the treetops above me. The wind was blowing and they were swaying back and forth. As I watched them swing, I grew a little concerned for my safety. These huge trees looked like they could topple over at any minute. My garage is also pretty close to these trees and, more importantly, there are two motorcycles inside of it. A destroyed garage roof, I can get over. But destroyed motorcycles? That’ll hit me right in the feels.
So, naturally, my mind started producing all of these crazy scenarios. Within a few seconds, I went from relaxed, chill, and contemplative to play-it-cool panic mode.
Until I took my focus off of the treetops.
Once I looked down at the trunks of the trees — I realized they weren’t moving at all. They were completely stable and there was no danger of the tree being uprooted. Moments after a mild panic, my mindset changed. I felt like God spoke to my heart and said, “You’re just feeling the wind because you’re in the treetops.”
When there is a storm. And you stand in front of a tree. If you look at its branches, you swear it will fall. But if you watch the trunk, you will see its stability. -The Revenant
For a few moments, it clicked. As Christians in 2016, we’re the young branches at the top of the tree. We’re relatively new on the scene, growing out of branches before us. At times, we will feel the wind beating against us, and on occasion, we may even feel like we’ll topple over. There may even be moments when certain branches fall off.
Denominations may collapse.
Churches may shut their doors.
But Christianity has survived for thousands of years.
And not only will it continue to exist, it will continue to thrive.
Our roots run deep and our trunk is firmly established in Jesus Christ. There have been plenty of winds and storms that have tried to topple it over before. All have failed. And most of them are more threatening than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
Plus, the Donald’s hair is no match for the wind anyways.
So if you’re ever like me and you grow worried about political candidates and terrorism and what might happen to the Christian faith — keep your eyes on the trunk — Jesus Christ. Because He’s not going anywhere.
And neither are we.
soli deo gloria
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