Our community of Punta Gorda, Florida was hit by a category 4 hurricane on August 13, 2004. Hurricane Charlie blew into town with massive winds that caused much destruction and changed people’s lives. Homes and businesses were destroyed and a few people lost their lives. Also many trees were blown over and uprooted and had to be removed. Some trees were bent over but began growing again. I call these survivors, hurricane trees. They were bent over during the hurricane but began growing straight once again.
God’s people can experience hurricanes in their lives also. Perhaps a death in the family or a devastating health problem can blow onto our doorstep. We may even experience the devastating effects of a personal failure and live with the consequences of our sin. These hurricanes can bend us to the ground. However I am thankful that our God can help us to grow straight again. Paul suffered a physical setback that he described as a thorn in the flesh. He asked the Lord to remove it but God did not. Instead the Lord told him that he could grow and flourish because His grace would be sufficient for him (2 Cor. 12:9,10). David blew it big time with his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the sinful cover-up. He had failed God and others and his life was truly bent out of shape. Yet when David was confronted with his sin, he confessed it to God and repented. He prays to God: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:7-10). David though bent, began to grow upright again.
Has some devastating foul wind blown you down? Do you feel that your life is bent over like the trees from Hurricane Charlie? God is so gracious. He will listen to our cries, He will restore our usefulness, and He will cause us to grow straight again like the hurricane trees.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation