Originally published Tuesday, 03 May 2022.
The soft grasses sway in the light breeze. The luscious meadow appears to be dancing to a tune not played for human ears. The afternoon sun warms the rippling brook framing the ancient oak tree that still stands firm. Its roots delve deeply into the earth below. The knotty bark echoes stories of children swinging on summer days from a rope and families gathering to picnic. The branches, strong and plentiful, provide respite from the heat as they offer shaded shelter with their leaves. Storms have attempted to destroy the old oak, but it tarries through. It has purpose, and its might is evident.
Those who know this oak seek and find refuge beneath its splendor.
When I think about identity, I envision the old oak tree above. I want to be this oak tree. Rooted. Strong. Someone who can provide refuge for others. Near to a source of Living water. Purposeful and hearty.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 shares, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of the drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
If I’m honest, in the past few months, I have had many anxiety-inducing thoughts attempt to ravage my peace and make home in my head. I have a feeling of restlessness. The unrest is not dissatisfaction with my life currently, but an acknowledgment that God is stirring up my heart. He is up to something and is busy readying me for change. I am unsure of what development may unfold, but it’s coming. I can feel it. Trusting in God’s plan and purpose during this time has been challenging. I have felt a disconnect with people and the activities that I love, and my heart aches. Despite all this, at my core, I know God is so very good. Whatever it is, I know it will be better than what I could plan for myself.
As I wrestle through this period of uncertainty, my heart longs to identify with the tree in the meadow, rooted, bearing fruit, and seeking sustenance from God. To know like the stream, I need not be anxious during this time of disquiet, but faithful and obedient in my current surroundings as I flow toward His will. I may not know what lies ahead in my life, but I know that if I identify with the characteristics of the old oak tree, I will not sway with passing storms. I will not be enslaved by fear, but I will stand strong. Trusting in the Lord and His purpose.
Readers, What is God asking you to trust Him with today?
Sarah Dohman is a nurse, kayak enthusiast, coffee addict, microbrew lover, globetrotter, adorer of friends and family. She has a weakness for donuts, runs in 5K races, and cannot get enough tea and books. She loves writing more than talking (and she talks a lot), can be seen at Target frequently, and is loving life in her thirties. She believes God has called her to this space to bring joy and encouragement through words to friends and family, near and far. You can find more from Sarah on Instagram.