A branch moving upstream, against the current, struggling to stay above water…….
The branch so much like myself……
A month or so ago, I was traveling back to Montana to visit family and to bring my mom home. Life had been a struggle the past few months. Events had occurred I couldn’t wrap my head around and I had been dealing with much inner turmoil and pain. Struggling…..
As we were driving, a car full of kids who were ready to be done with the road trip and it had merely just begun, an hour into it, I saw something that struck me as odd. I saw a stick, a tree branch, moving upstream. We’ve had flooding in the surrounding area, and rivers and creeks were moving fast and covering more ground then they should. And I see this branch moving upstream, moving up the current, the rushing water and the current pushing back on it, as it struggled to move forward.
It wasn’t moving as fast as it would have been if moving downstream, but moving none-the-less. It was as if God wanted me to see this branch, because how can a tree branch move upstream? It most definitely was though. And how did I spot it? I happened to look at the river at just the right moment.
As I question so much in my own life and try to make sense of the disappointments and failures in my professional life, my life as a mom and wife, this tree branch spoke to me. It’s struggled not to get sucked under with the current, pushed down from the rushing waters. I too needed to be like the branch not letting circumstances bring me down, pull me under. To keep pushing forward, to keep fighting upstream, taking the current head-on.
I too am like the branch in the water, moving upstream against the current, against circumstances and fear. Looking forward, no longer beaten down but preserving and withstanding all the whipping waves. I feast my eyes on the one above, the one upstream. The one who overcame it all. Who won the victory.
Unlike the tree branch, I have my Heavenly Father’s strength, His peace, His love, His promises. I think of the Martin Luther King quote: “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do keeping moving forward.”
No the trials never seem to get easier, but I stronger. They don’t cease to exist, but I don’t cease to give in. I travel upstream against my circumstances, looking up and believing I can stay afloat. I can move against the current, because I have the victorious one.
His hand is holding me up, carrying me, helping me swim against the current. Giving me breath when I feel it sucked out of me. Removing my failures and shame, giving me new mercies daily. Reminding me on which rock I stand. I keep looking up, pressing full steam ahead. It may be slowly, but I am trying to keep my eyes on Him. Was the branch keeping it’s eyes on the shore, a piece of land to rest?
Even when the waters rush in around me, even when I feel like a weak branch ready to bend and break, His voice carries me, His love holds me.
So today I am like that tree branch, holding steady, moving upstream, facing the rushing waters without fear, believing in His promises, even when I can’t see the end of the race or river. Even when I don’t know how long the current will last. How fast it will rush, how I will make it to another day. The rock on which I stand already won the victory. Tomorrow will worry about itself.
With Him life isn’t easy, but with Him I am stronger, more brave, and faithful. I am able to withstand it ALL. No longer defeated and pulled under, but a victorious branch in the water moving forward, moving against the swells of fear, eyes on the one who created it all.
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit