There once was a lumberjack who went out to cut down some trees in the forest. As he was about to chop down his first tree, he noticed a bird making a nest at the top of the tree. Since he was a compassionate man, before he cut down the tree, he hit it with the back of his ax to shake it. Thump! The bird got the message and flew away. But then she landed in the next tree. He was going to cut that tree down too. Uh-oh! So the lumberjack hit that tree with the back of his ax. Thump! But the bird just flew to the next one and the next one.
By now the bird was getting angry. She scolded that lumberjack with her loud chirps. She could not understand why this man kept harassing her. Why didn’t he just leave her alone? But the lumberjack kept thumping each tree she landed on with the back of his ax. Thump! Thump! Finally, there weren’t any trees left, and the bird was forced to fly and make her nest on a solid rock cliff.
Know what? There on that solid rock, she was safe.
Isn’t this what God does with us? We think we have found the perfect place to set our hearts. We think we’ve found the best spot to base our lives. Then, all of a sudden, thump! God shakes our lives, and we’re forced to move on to something else. But then, thump! God shakes us again. And again. We think he’s harassing us. We scold him! We wonder why God keeps causing so much trouble for us.
Here’s why God shakes us: He knows that all the trees are coming down. None of them can truly hold us. Wherever we set our hearts, it’s all going to come crashing down. Basing our lives on success or wealth. Thump! Putting our hopes and dreams in travel or sports. Thump! Thinking our goal is a healthy retirement or our attractive looks. Thump! Placing our trust in our families or ourselves. Thump! Those all seem like logical places to rest our hearts. But God knows something: They are all coming down!
God wants you to learn to build your nest on the Rock. That’s what he taught David in the Bible. If you read the story of David’s life, you can hear the back of God’s ax thumping on all sorts of trees where David sought rest. Finally, David called out to God, “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2). What a prayer! “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Find your rest on the Rock.
Every “thump” in life is God’s gentle call: “That tree is coming down! Rest on the Rock!”
Know why? There on the Rock of Christ, you are safe.
God isn’t harassing you. He is for you! Just look at Jesus’ cross. God isn’t messing up your life. He’s prepared the best future for you in heaven! Now he’s leading you there by refusing to let your heart rest in anything other than Jesus and his promises. Can you see that?
Every “thump” in life is God’s gentle call: “That tree is coming down! Rest on the Rock!” Every disappointment in life is God’s gentle invitation: “That can’t hold you. But I can. Come and rest in me!” Like David, let’s learn to pray to our gracious God: “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Author: Nathan Nass
Volume 110, Number 7
Issue: July 2023
- Changing hearts
- Mission dreams
- A new open door
- Your greatest joy
- Quick to listen
- Rest on the Rock
- I will do what I can
- Water the seed: Ministry in the public school
- Out from the shadows
- Jesus’ hands are never tied
- My church family
- With you always
- Build others up
- On mission statements and missions
- You are good to go
- Sound the alarm
- Pray, Christian, pray
- Now thank we all our God!
- A daily walk with our Shepherd
- Mind your own business
- A hymn for all ages
- Sunshine and rain
- Sunk without a trace
- All I want for Christmas
- Accept the challenge
- Get busy living
- The Lord, our shield
- Our desperate need
- Not just the capital of Rhode Island
- On grief and grieving: A Christian perspective
- Embracing a double standard
- Judgement-free zone
- Frogs in heated recliners
- An easy question?
- Drowning in a sea of bad news