A strong oak or a pitiful pine?

Before Christ, I felt like a weak and wimpy pine tree. Tossed by the winds of my emotions. Defined by my circumstances. Uprooted by life’s storms. Despair was my story.

But in CHRIST…I am rooted in God’s love.

With CHRIST… I am strengthened by life’s storms and transformed by trials.

Because of CHRIST…I am an oak of righteousness; planted by the Lord for HIS glory!

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor. ~Isaiah 61:3

We may not always feel like it, but that is what WE are!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Amen!!! Amen!!! and Amen!!!

    I was a wimpy pine sapling as well. Bent, swayed, and trampled. But praise God just a simple yes from my lips to His heart changed all that.

    Love you friend. Thanks for your constant reminders of truth.

  2. This was great timing for me. I just had a conversation this afternoon with a co-worker about this very topic.

    miss you.

  3. So true, so true. I can relate to this oh so well. I lived my life prior to hurricane Katrina like a wimpy pine. I was just one of the many that filled my yard. Well Katrina came and many of them were uprooted just like me. Taken from the earth and strewn across the house causing so much destruction. We can be just like that too. We have to stay rooted in Christ. After living through such a storm literally and figuratively I can now say I am forever changed into an Oak. I hope and pray never to go back to the puney pine. Being an Oak is so much better.
    I love the Lord and never understood why we had to go through what we did. I am understanding FINALLY that we all have our own cross and suffering to bear just as Christ did.
    Thanks for this short yet strong message. It flooded my mind with memories. WOW!

  4. Renee–what a great message! I 'm praying daily my roots stay planted deep…that there would be a mighty display of His splendor through this trial. thank you for your constant prayer! I think it's what's holding this tree upright!! much love, lisa

  5. 🙂 Love this verse! So thankful for the changes HE has worked in me! (And that He is still working! I still have some "pine" moments!) 😉

    I so often look at the Bradford Pears that everyone seems to plant around here. Yes…they are beautiful. Long delicate branches that grow into lovely shapely trees…trees wth gorgeous blooms. But thoses same lovely branches cannot withstand storms. After big snow storms or even lightning storms, those trees can be seen with huge chunks missing. And they are also prone to rotting from the inside…leading to their need to be chopped down completely if they don't fall to pieces on their own.

    They have always made me think of how I should not be so focused on my outer beauty…but my inner strength and beauty. I want to be an oak tree…maybe not planted for "decorative" purposes…but I want a life with more meaning than just decoration. I want to be a planting for the display of His splendor!!!

    Love to you, strong oak!

  6. The ice this past weekend was such a good picture of this … some of the pines near us bent and snapped, but the strong oaks stood firm. It's easy to forget that storms have the potential to strengthen us. Needed that reminder today. Thanks, Renee~

  7. I don't know why but reading your post made me want to shout "We are HIS Redwood Forest".
    It just reminded me that there are some among us who have stood for years their roots deeply planted like those is the Redwood Forest. Giant rings marking their journey with Christ. Others are new saplings just beginning their growth toward the SON. What a great a post today and such wonderful inspiration.
    Blessings

  8. Renee, I needed to read this verse today! Feeling a bit like a puney pine – thanks for reminding me who I am and more so whose I am. Praying for you my friend, Jill

  9. I loved this post and it really spoke to me this morning. Thank you! I linked to it from my blog. Also I get to hear Lysa Terkeurst speak this weekend!

  10. Hi there!

    I volunteer for Children's HopeChest and Tom Davis asked that I say thanks for expressing interest in his book "Scared" through the She Reads website! Having gone to Africa with HopeChest recently I know that the things Tom writes about in "Scared" are very real, very heart breaking situations for so many orphans in Africa right now. It's easy to feel paralyzed by the problems these children face, but I have come to realize that it takes so little to make a difference in an orphan's life. Children's HopeChest has lots of opportunities for you to be involved in impacting a child's life. If you'd like to learn more, email brandi@hopechest.org to find out how you might help bring hope to an orphan or visit http://www.hopechest.org. Thanks again for your interest in "Scared". The more we open ourselves up to embrace God's heart for the least of these, the more our lives are transformed into His likeness. God bless!

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