The Cedars of Lebanon
by James Blare, Jr.
The Cedars of Lebanon and Lebanese cedar… two very different trees. The Lebanese cedar is just that, cedar wood found in Lebanon. However, the Cedar of Lebanon is a completely different tree. Some of the strongest wood mentioned in the Bible, it has roots said to be the deepest on earth. It’s even compared to the ministry of Christ.
Hos_14:5 I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, and He will take root like the cedars of Lebanon.
These unique trees are a standard which is used to describe the strength of God’s voice in Psalm_ 29:5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
If you are instructed to build something for God, He directs you to use the strongest wood possible, the Cedar of Lebanon.
What makes this tree so unique? It is how and where they grow. But what would happen for these trees to get so strong?
In the high mountain ranges of Lebanon, the wind blows at high velocities. While the cedar trees grow, they experience some of the toughest storms in the country. The roots grow deep, the tree is sturdy. But creating a true Cedar of Lebanon goes beyond the elements these trees endure in their natural habitat. It also takes time, dedication, and suffering...above and beyond.
Think of it this way: The Lord instructs a shipbuilder to build Him a ship. The builder constructs a beautiful vessel, and he's almost ready to set sail except for the mast. The most important part…
When the shipbuilder needs a mast for his ship, he does not just find any tree and chop it down. He hikes to the mountains of Lebanon and searches for a young tree. He chops down all the trees around it. Why?
In the years ahead, this lonely tree will grow all on its own. It will weather the storms and high winds of the mountain top. While the other trees grow in the shelter and shade of each other, this tree will be isolated, and become as strong as it can possibly be. Alone. It will suffer the bitter wind, and cold, and when the storms are over, it will heal, its scars yielding strength.
The shipbuilder waits, refining his boat, and harvesting this fine specimen when it is strong and tall. Knowing that the mast has to be the strongest on the ship, he fashions it out of one solid piece of wood. Scars and all. It is anchored to the deck and the boat propels forward, its tied sails billowing in the wind as the mast remains unbending, unyielding no matter what comes.
Much like with the Cedars of Lebanon, the Lord is our shipbuilder, and we are His mast. When we give our lives over to Jesus, we are trusting Him to use us in all ways to propel His message throughout the world. Where it may seem as if we are alone and weathering senseless storms, they are, in fact, making us stronger. God needs us to be the solid mast, anchored in His ship, before He can attach the sails.
The good news? We do not have to go through the storms alone. God is watching over us and constantly repairing us as we grow.
So stand tall, even amidst the storms. Get ready to set sail with the Lord as your Captain...scars and all...like the Cedars of Lebanon.
By James Blare, Jr.
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photo credit: Dru! via photopin cc