The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I
take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold (Ps.18:2).
Imagine that you are making your way up two-by-fours that
have been nailed to the side of a tree. The somewhat crooked steps lead up to a
made mostly of branches and scrap lumber. Only a few of the boards look to be of any good
quality. The rest appear as though one wrong move might cause the whole thing to come
down. Nevertheless, you continue to climb, intending to get into the structure to spend
some quality time with your son who has been begging you for days to come with him into
his newly built fortress.
Does this not sound like something you might do? Climb up what is uncertain to what may
appear unsafe. What's amazing is that we do it all the time, but the
people and the steps are good intentions. We see before us people who are imperfect,
flawed and who will on occasion fail us. Yet we continue to seek to place trust in them so
long as they do not hurt us.
When placing our trust in "unsound structures" many things can go wrong and many
dangers exist. There is a danger first, that we do not recognize the dangers. That is to
say that we look at the flawed structure as though it were perfect. And then when the
structure fails us and we get hurt as a result, we act surprised and swear never to trust
that structure again--or any one like it.
Another danger could be in how we treat the structure. If we place our weight upon the
weakest places, say a loose board or one with a huge crack in it, we are sure to come
tumbling down. We cannot expect to hand a bottle of alcohol to an alcoholic and tell him
not to drink it, then leave him completely alone and then suddenly be surprised when he
fails. It is necessary to place trust, yet it is necessary to use discretion as well. We
should not expect the tree-house to hold up to pressures at its weakest area.
Still there are situations and circumstances that will undoubtedly lead us to misplace our
trust. We may not see the danger, or we may unwittingly apply pressure to the weak spots.
Why? Because we are imperfect even as those we place our trust in are imperfect. Because
of that, we often fail others from the beginning when we place the expectations on them
never to fail us. Then it is not only that they let us down, but that we also let them
down by expecting them to hold us up--regardless of circumstances.
But there is a saving grace. We have a way that we can place our trust in others and keep
ourselves out of harms way. Any two tree-houses are seldom built alike, yet they all have
something in common--they are built in a tree. The tree that is alive and sturdy remains
secure and strong, even when the house is flawed. The best place to place our trust then
is in the tree beneath the tree-house. We sit or stand on areas that are firmly supported
by the branches of the tree.
Christ is a strong and living tree. He is always our security even when others fail us due
to their flaws, and even when we fail ourselves due to our flaws. But we do not come to
rest on ourselves or others. We instead come to rest and place our trust in He who holds