I am pleased to share with you: Sabrina Elzinga, Dean of Women at Adelphia Bible School. She is more than just a lady who works behind the scenes to make sure student life is running smoothly or who organizing ice cream study parties at her and her husband AJ’s house for the students here. Sabrina is one of my friends who has showed great love and grace to me over these couple years I’ve known her.
When I asked her to be a guest on my blog, (and she said yes!) I knew you would all be getting a treat. Her love for God is so evident in the very words she writes. Please enjoy her post today and don’t be afraid to read and follow her blog: teafor2elzingas.wordpress.com. Here is what she wrote for me to post today:
As I sit here in the warm security of our little humble abode; my
favorite candle flickering to my left and a hot cup of mate to right, my
thoughts can’t help but drift towards the noisy storm out my window. I
don’t know what the weather’s like on your side of the world, but up here
in northeast Washington we’ve been experiencing chillier winter weather.
While our friends and family down in P-town area who have been
experiencing their very own “Winter Wonderland,” here at the cottage
Mr. E and I have been greeted with quite a different winter storm. A
winter wind storm.
You may be thinking, “Sabrina, don’t you have anything better to talk
about than the weather?” Trust me, I do. Just hear me out…
Whether a soft gentle breeze or a mighty gust, over time, things like
mountains, hills and seas have all been impacted by wind. Wind has a
way of reshaping our surroundings, and world. Mr. E and I consider it a
blessing to live on a lake and be able wake up to its lovely surroundings
each morning. Exquisite sunrises, a quiet, still lake half-glassed over,
mountains and hills dusted with fresh white snow, and a diverse collection
of rich green plant life and beautiful trees.
Trees are just one more of the many things that can experience the effects
of a blustery environment. After a number of days of this windy, cold
weather they have certainly been impacted, the evidence is all over the
ground in the form of tiny pine needles, broken limbs and branches.
Upon first glance this may seem like a negative thing. However, I wonder
if windy storms might actually be necessary to these trees. Could these
wind actually be more helpful than harmful? Does the impact of wind on
a tree make it weaker or stronger? After doing a little research I
discovered some very interesting things about how wind can effect trees
beyond their surface and it’s lead me to believe that all of the changes
that are taking place in the lives of these trees may be a great picture of
how “life’s storms” can impact our own lives.
Like the trees at Lake Retreat, a tree may lose some of it’s weaker/dead
branches and twigs during a wind storm. However, this is a necessary and
helpful process in order to help the tree make room for new/live growth.
Also, when the body of a tree or a branch or a twig is bent by a gust of
wind, the sap-cells are compressed on one side of the bend and stretched
on the other. In both cases the result is that, as the bent branch or body
straightens again, and the sap-cells reopen, an extra supply of sap is
pumped, by suction, to these points of strain. Thus the tree is not only
made to grow larger and stronger at these points, but the whole tree
grows faster and stronger; just as the exercise of your legs and arms not
only strengthens them, but affects your whole body.
Sometimes the trials in our lives feel like a wind storm does to a tree. The
storms of life help us lose some of the unhelpful and unnecessary things
we’ve been holding onto (past sins, shame, fear, doubt, bitterness, despair,
failure, etc.). Storms change us, and can even be painful. But it’s
necessary for our spiritual growth, and is used by God as a tool to
strengthen our faith and make us more like Himself.
When high winds come along no matter how stout your trunk and your
limbs and your branches may be, it’s all over with you unless you’ve got a
firm grip on the earth under your feet! A tree, to hold its own, must be
well rooted in the soil; and its roots must constantly tighten their grip in
proportion to the strain on the wind-tossed branches. So, by the same
automatic pumping system that strengthens the body of the tree, the
roots are strengthened for their work. For this reason you’ll see more
surface roots on trees growing in thick woods, or in the shelter of hills,
than on trees in the open, and standing wide apart. Trees in the open
strike their lateral roots deeper to resist the wind strain. Trees of the
thick woods, finding plenty of food near the surface of the ground and
being protected from the winds by each other, don’t feel any necessity for
paying premiums for high-wind insurance by sinking their roots deep.
Like the tree, we need to have a “firm grip on the earth under our feet”
when we go through various trials. Being well rooted in the soil of God’s
promises is essential to weathering the storm. I’m becoming continually
more and more aware about how much I need to be in constant, deep
relationship with God. Spending time in His Word, and praying are some
of the things that help me stay rooted in who God is and what He’s
promised. And like the tree, those who are planted in a surrounding that
allows them to be supported and protected by others have a better
chance at seeing their storm through. I’m being reminded how important
it is for me to be in regular fellowship with other believers.
Wind is designed by God to strengthen trees both above-ground and
below-ground. Like trees, the trials are designed by God to strengthen
believers both above and below the ground. Today I thank God for the
trials He’s allowed, is allowing and will continue to allow into my life
because I know that, while painful, these are the very things that make
me more like Himself.
I leave you, today, with one of my favorite passages & prayers in all of
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, !om whom every family in
heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant
you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that
Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted
and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is
the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that
surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him
who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to
the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Leaning on the promises of God,