Leaning

“What direction does a tree fall? It falls in the direction it’s leaning,” said the Lorax.

This quote came from “The Lorax”. The kids and I went to see it on Friday and I loved it. It was funny and musical. It taught a good lesson as all Dr. Seuss books do. It was everything I expected and more because I found this quote to be so very profound. I quickly took out my phone so I wouldn’t forget it. And I’ve thought about this quote since that day.

I spent some time doing a bit of research on trees. I found that a tree that is leaning is not a good thing. It means the root system is not very deep or too many limbs have grown on one side. When you plant a tree, you are supposed to watch for those things. You are supposed to plant it deep enough so the roots aren’t exposed to the elements. They need nourishment which can only be found in rich soil. If they are exposed, they tend to wither in the sun. As the tree grows it needs to be pruned. It needs to be well rounded and balanced on all sides. If not, it will lean to one side pulling on the root system. What I found is that the strongest tree is the tree with a deep root system. When the roots are deep, they are stronger. When they are stronger, they can withstand the winds, rain and drought without toppling over. The leaning in a tree can be corrected if the tree is young. But as a tree grows larger and larger, it’s harder to correct the leaning. It takes a professional.

“They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

(Jeremiah 17:8 NIV)

I love this scripture. It speaks of a person deeply rooted in God’s truth. It speaks of someone putting their trust in the LORD. It shows the strength we can have regardless of our circumstances. This is such a wonderful promise when we are living in the shadow of His wing. But instead, we often find ourselves leaning. We lean toward those things we think will satisfy us or make us secure. We lean toward the person who strokes our ego. We lean toward money or possessions, even habits that will elevate us and make us feel important. We want to be successful and independent. We lean toward our sin causing us to lean away from the Lord. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are leaning. And if we aren’t carefully repositioning ourselves, the very thing we are leaning toward will eventually be our downfall.

I’m thankful the Lord has the power to correct my skewed position. He has the heart to forgive me when I lean in the wrong direction. He gently (or not so gently) repositions me at the foot of His throne so I may be strengthened and well grounded. No matter the age, maturity or situation, He can always fix what has been broken.

Oh Lord, may we be as trees firmly planted in your truth!

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