Tree in the Desert
Birds soon flocked to it's branches, nesting within the lush comfort of it's leaves, lost travelers stumbled from miles around to collapse at it's feet, taking refuge from the beating sun. But the tree never forgot it's beginning, and no matter how tall it grew or how mighty it branches became, it always remembered it's own frailty. Realizing it's strength came not from within itself but from the from water that poured down upon it from the heavens.
Every once in a while the wind would scowl, the heat would seep in and just as the tree thought it had seen the end of it's greatness, the clouds would gather and rain down upon it once again, giving it life. Then one day the rain stopped, the clouds scattered at the growling face of the sun, and the desert winds swept in with a furious heat. Alone in the wilderness, the tree clung to itself as it's leaves were slowly stripped away and blown off into the distance.
Eventually the tree was bare with nothing left to sustain it, and nothing left to give, to those who found shelter in it's shade. One by one, the birds slowly flew away from it's branches, the lost travelers no longer sat at it's feet. Then just when the tree thought it had finally been stripped of everything, a raging storm swept across the barren desert and swirled overhead. At the sight of the storm the tree rejoiced, waiting for the clouds to rain down upon it once again that it may spring back to life and become the shelter it once was.
But no rain fell. Instead the clouds became black as coal as their winds beat down upon it, the thunder roared overhead in a deafening song, and suddenly a blade of lightening tore to the earth in a single flash, tearing the tree in two. Then as quick as it came, the storm disappeared and the tree was broken. It called out to the birds that once nestled in it's branches, but they flew right past, looking down with disgust because the tree had been broken by the storm. It called out to the travelers that once sat beneath it's shade, but the travelers cursed the tree for it was no longer of use to them.
So alone in the desert the tree sat, torn in two, broken, wondering if it would ever be as beautiful and mighty as it once was. If it would ever again provide refuge to the birds who had now forgotten it, if it would ever provide shade to the travelers who now cursed it. Then suddenly a single drop from heaven fell and with it a voice as loud as thunder and quiet as a whisper... "Oh Tree that I love, I stripped you of your leaves so that those who rested in you wouldn't feel the storm I was about to bring upon you. I rained down lightening to break you, and though you feel abandoned and crushed it is only because you don't yet fully understand what I am about to create in you. It is I who raised you up from a tiny little branch, I who watered you, I who crushed you, and I who will rebuild you."
Then suddenly the heavens opened wide and the rain poured down harder than ever before. The tree that had been broken in two quickly sprang back to life, each of it's two broken pieces growing stronger apart than they were as one, drinking in every drop as new leaves began to bloom. Then after a season, the birds began to flock back to it's branches, the lost and weary travelers once again sought refuge beneath it's shade… and as the tree reflected back on all it had been through it called out to heaven with all it's might.
"Thank you for stripping me to nothing, for without it those who found refuge in me would be broken just as I was. Thank you for the storm, for without it I would have never been broken. Thank you for breaking me in two, for now I am twice what I once was! And thank you for raining down upon me once again, for without You I am nothing. It is Your rain that sustains me, Your rain that gives me life, Your rain that allows my branches to be refuge to those who are lost, weary and dying… I know I am fragile, capable of being broken again and I know there will be many more storms to come. But if I can grow from the next one the way I have from this one… Then Lord Bring the Rain!"