When I was a girl, I would spend part of the summer visiting my grandmother and two of her sisters up in Duluth, MN. One of my great-aunts had a lot of books which included some copies of Reader's Digest condensed books. One summer I read "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" by Betty Smith which is about a family living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City during the first part of the twentieth century.
Today, a chapter in the book came to mind. The family was very poor and really struggled to survive. One year the two children really wanted a Christmas tree but of course there was no money to spend on such a luxury. The oldest child, a girl named Francie, had heard that if you went to the tree lot on Christmas Eve, trees that were had not been sold were chucked at you. If you were still standing after having a tree thrown at you, the tree was yours for free.
Francie made her plans. She picked out a magnificent tree which she was sure would not be sold. This tree was the most expensive tree on the lot. Ten-year-old Francie knew she was too small to catch a tree of this size so she enlisted the help of her younger brother Neeley. When they arrive at the tree lot, Francie announces her intention and everyone laughs at her. She is told she is too small and weak to catch the tree. Francie responds by pulling her little brother forward and declaring that while she is too small and weak, she and her brother are not! There is some debate as to whether it is permissible to let two children try. The owner of the lot is impressed by their determination and decides to allow it.
The children stand back and join hands. The tree is hurled at the children. As it hits them, Francie staggers. She feels Neeley start to fall down but she yanks him up. To everyone's surprise, when the tree is lifted off the children they are still standing. The tree was theirs!
I've encountered a lot of adversity in my life. You probably have too. When adversity is thrown at me, I want to be able to remain standing. I don't want to let it knock me down. First and foremost, we have God's hand to hold onto but it doesn't stop there. He has also given us brothers and sisters whose hands we may also hold. Some of us may have a lot of brothers and sisters living in close proximity while others of us have few or even none. The wonderful thing about the Body of Christ is that we can reach out and hold each others hands even if we're not physically standing right next to each other.
I can testify to the fact that if you are at ChristianBlog.com you do not have to stand alone. I have experienced this first hand and I know that others have too. The enemy would have you believe that you are all alone and no one cares. That is a lie straight from the father of lies! God has told us we are never alone and we must believe what he says.
I challenge all of us, myself included of course, to dare to grab the hands of brothers and sisters in Christ when adversity is thrown at us for their hands are the very hands of Jesus on earth. This can be a scary act for some of us but I can promise you will never be the same and you will find yourself stronger than the adversity.
Always remember you aren't just anybody. You are now a child of God and that makes you royalty!
What an awesome illustration. I have been upheld by the power of God through brothers and sisters in Christ and have felt first hand the comfort of our Lord during adversity. The people of this site have blessed me and carried me through many a difficult time and it has greatly strengthened my faith. And K, we continue to lift you up, that you may stand when this trial is over and I know you have a mighty band of prayer warriors lifting your name to our Heavenly Father on a daily basis. The evil one may try to knock you down sweetie, but we've got your back. Much love and prayers to you. Love, Andrea
Your blog has tears in my eyes. What a poignant illustration of how WE, as the Body of Christ, have the ability to truly [b] reach out[/b] to one another, across all distance, and lift one another up!
I have felt the prayers of my brothers and sisters here on CB. I can testify to the power of prayer from the Body of Christ in all Its Forms.
On the day you post the blog that you have defeated this cancer and stand with us all standing with you, WE WILL CONTINUE TO SING PRAISES TO HIS HOLY NAME!
Much love in Christ,
Amen, we are all called to bear one another's burdens. And as we do, we show forth the love of Christ.
Beautiful illustration and a lovely story.
I experienced a couple of treeless Christmas's.
Standing together, as one in the body of Christ joint heirs with Jesus, no better place to be.
Very encourging story to stand firm in time of trail. I really need to hear something like this when I´m tested. When I´m insulted, when others act like children, when all doors are closed, when it seems I´ m not a christian anymore.
But just as the decipiles found Jesue walking to them in the wated in the midst of the raging storm and waves, we can be sure Jesue and his angel are in the neighborhood when trials come.
May you be blessed. Amen.
I am new to this whole blogging thing and to CB. I was having second thoughts about whether this was a wise decision. While I was reading your blog, I felt like you were talking directly to me and my uncertainty. Thank you for the blessing of such a wonderful illustration and your eloquent words.