How to overcome the storms by bending yet not breaking
As I write this, Hurricane Ian is making landfall on the southwest Florida coast. Live images show debris flying across the streets, flooding, and damage to structures. This powerful storm is estimated to cause significant damage with winds over 150 mph.
Living in Florida for over thirty years now, I’ve witnessed various hurricanes. Some of them cause minor damage, others extremely destructive. However, one thing that amazes me most after a storm passes through is the resiliency of palm trees. Despite the palm trees bending and swaying violently, they don’t easily break.
A little-known fact about palm trees is that although they are technically trees, palm trees are more closely related to grass, corn, and rice. Surprisingly palm trees are not made of wood like typical trees. Instead, the inside of palm trees is more sponge-like, with the fibrous material scattered around rather than arranged in line. These “cell-like” fibers are malleable and can easily flex and return to their original position.
Herein lies the strength and resilience of the palm tree. As it grows, every storm that strikes the palm also helps to strengthen it. It adapts, rebuilds, and continues to grow. Also, as it grows, its roots take hold and “anchor” the tree firmly into the ground.
This story reminds me how we, as believers, are also unique inside and made to withstand the troubles and turmoils that strike us. To endure life’s storms, we must stay grounded in the Word and continually allow the Spirit to rebuild and strengthen us.
When we do, we will endure much more than we know. My prayer for you and those affected by the storm is for strength and perseverance by leaning into the Lord so that when the storms come, you may likely bend but will not break.
Answer and Journal the Following
First pray for insight and understanding of God’s word. Then and most importantly, how to apply it.
“Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. 22 Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24 and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26 But we must run aground on some island.”
Contemplate and meditate on or memorize the passage. What is God saying to you?
How will you apply this to your life ?
How will you share this with others?