It caught my eye immediately, high on a rock-hewn mountainside in West Virginia. The lone pine tree towered over jagged stair-steps of granite, a startling sliver of green among dull grays and browns.
We were heading home after a week-long stay in Pennsylvania, tired but grateful for the fun vacation with our family. I-77 snaked through goliath mountain peaks, along vast, tree-filled ravines, and over bridges so high I wasn’t sure if they covered land or water.
Because I’ve lived in flat, palm-tree dotted Florida almost half my life, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the never-ending peaks hemming in the highway and rising to meet the clouds. I spotted the secluded pine tree rising out of impossible rock and wondered at its location.
How had it survived the precarious time from scrawny sapling to majestic pine in the nearly-vertical landscape? It was almost incomprehensible that the tall tree found enough soil to grow in, yet there it stood – an emerald gem thriving amid rock and stone and steep cliff.
That tree somehow buried its roots under all that rock.
How well anchored in the ground it must be! Pouring rain, whipping winds, and freezing sleet would have no affect on the tree. The foundation of the tree – its root system – sunk deep, deep into the ground.
“Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock” (Luke 6:47-48, NKJV). When we’re founded on the rock of Jesus Christ, saved by faith in Him and living according to His word, His strength will see us through life’s many storms. Jesus provides a foundation that’s steady, unchanging, and always filled with hope.
There will be times in life that we’re called to stand alone in Him, just as the pine tree stood alone on that rocky mountainside. He will be all we have and we’ll learn that He’s all we need. When the winds whip and floods rise against us, Jesus our Rock will never change and never let go.
Dig deeply into Jesus, anchoring into His love and His Word, and life’s steep cliffs will provide a beautiful view of our Creator’s glory.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8, NKJV).