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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Legend of the Cedar

My First Storm
In my very first post I wrote about how I wanted to see how I could grow closer to God through the “Storms of Life.” Up until just a few nights ago, by some miracle I really haven’t had to face a bad storm. Cold yes… some drizzling yes…but not a storm.

Tuesday night I found myself walking out my back door with the rain pounding in front of me. I know tents are not water proof so I had honestly thought I may not be able to sleep outside, but I still wanted to make sure. Sprinting out to my Eureka home, I unzipped my front door and dove inside. Surprisingly enough it was completely dry!

Hearing the rain splashing above me I pulled out my Lenten devotional and read the following story. I don’t think it could have been any more perfect.

The Legend of the Cedar
It was a terrible storm and the angel needed shelter from the blinding rain. A nearby cedar saw the angel’s plight and opened its branches to protect the angel from the rain and wind. 

In gratitude, the angel prayed that the cedar would bear a fruit which would bless all people. God heard about the kindness of the cedar tree, and decided to answer the angel’s prayer.

The cedar was chosen to be the wood used for the cross of Jesus.

I Lay it Down
Sitting there in my tent I found myself in awe of what I had just read, yet at first I could not understand why. There was no explanation of the story, or recap, or “how to apply this to your life,” simply those words on a page next to the date of April 19th. So I read the story again…and again…and eventually it hit me. I am the Cedar tree.

My entire life I have always strived to do good things. I volunteered to feed families for thanksgiving in high school, signed up for two little Brothers in college, and eventually became a missionary on a college campus. I have seen many in need, and I have done all I can to cover them from the storms they face. I think God was rejoicing at the fact that I was able to help a child of His in need, but in His infinite wisdom knows that to bear any fruit that I must die to myself and embrace His redemptive plan.
That Cedar tree had to die in order to become the Cross. If I allow Him, God could use me to bring His love to this world instead of me simply trying to give my own. I just pray that I may have the strength to say yes to whatever that may be. 

“Everything I am…Everything I long to be…I lay it down at your feet.”

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