I was in the Black Hills recently, hiking around with my earthly son, and my heavenly Father kept whispering into my soul while I was there. The thing I remember most today is represented in the picture below. We were near the top of a hike we were doing on Hearney Peak, when we saw these trees, tons of the larger ones had died off because of a bug that was killing them from the inside of the tree. All around them, smaller trees had been bent over and the group I was with pondered that for a moment, when one of my buddies said something like ‘the smaller ones got blown over… they weren’t strong enough without the bigger ones to help block the wind.’
I thought, how true… and then immediately thought of the influence we have in our own worlds, the ability each of us has to be a strong tree for those around us that seem fine, seem growing, but desperately need us to help them to be “strong enough.” The bug that killed these trees ISN’T something trees can defend against. The things that eat away at each of us usually ARE things we can prevent or at least take captive and get help with. The outside of the trees looked fine, but they were dying beneath the bark, and eventually got so weak that they snapped off and are no longer living, let alone helping to protect the others.
I wonder where you find yourself today? Is there some “pine beetle” reducing your effectiveness? Something you need to take captive before you SNAP? There are tons of smaller, weaker ones relying on you to help them be strong enough.