As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith,
as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Don and I usually ask our daughter what she hears and learns in her Sunday school group. After she informs us, we discuss the teaching. Today while we were talking about it, I saw Don and myself holding her up—like wooden stakes supporting a young tree—making sure she is rooted and grounded in the Scriptures and in a love relationship with Jesus.
Our daughter is like the tree pictured below; we are the wooden stakes that support her in order that she learn from daily life so that later, she will be able to weather whatever comes her way. The band around the tree and the stakes is God, as He is the One that binds us together. We are also planted in His word, for He is our foundation.
The tree has to be firmly planted in the soil so that it can grow a root system that anchors it to the ground, but still be able to move with the weather conditions that prevail. The wooden stakes supporting the tree also move with it, and help it to remain upright. On this tree, the band is tight on one side and loose on the other because this tree leans.
Likewise, our daughter is learning, with the help of her dad and me, to navigate through life. Daily she hears and reads the word of God; daily she is exposed to our successes and/or failures; daily she sees if we turn to God and how we apply/do not apply His word; daily she is tempted by everything she sees and hears in the world and is learning how to deal with it; and daily she sees God at work in our lives. The way she leans determines what path her life will take; that is why she is getting the support she needs so that her roots are firmly and deeply planted in her relationship with her Lord.
The supportive wooden stakes are now gone from the tree that’s outside our window. It weathered the thunderstorms, hail, and winds we recently experienced. It has yet to experience the Santa Ana winds, so it will be interesting to watch what happens.
When the time is right we, too, will let go of her; for the time being we are letting go slowly and surely, a little bit at-a-time as she matures. And though there are the usual adolescent attitudes, disagreements, emotions, etc., there is one constant factor: Jesus Christ. He is active in her life and He will never leave her nor forsake her. He, who is ever present with His children, will continue to be with her and enable her to withstand whatever He allows into her life.
His hand and Spirit is upon her life and He will be glorified in her life. Our hope is that she is like the man in Psalm 1:3,
[She] shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever [she] does shall prosper.
To God be the glory! Amen.