House of Destiny - Recovery Healing Restoration
Winter Trees and Roots
     As I was walking about the house during prayer time recently, I stopped at the door to the Library/Classroom. (I love to pray in this room and ask to touch our interns and teachers as they delve into the Word of God each day.) This day I opened the blinds on the door while praying. I prayed for God to send women who are broken and hopeless. I know God will direct their path. From this particular window,  I have full view of a Pin Oak tree in the front yard of House of Destiny. This tree is a pitiful sight to see. Broken limbs from hurricane Ike are in plain sight. Most of the leaves have detached themselves from the tree. A few roots are exposed and lying on top of the ground. Another thing I noticed concerning this tree, was big clumps of mistletoe. Life-sucking mistletoe. Winter was upon it and nothing could stop the process of the onslaught. Killer mistletoe...and WINTER!
     This got me to thinking about things that appear lifeless, and the things that steal life from something that was once full of creative life. Have you ever thought about the way winter expresses itself. Due to our experiences in life, we easily identify lots of its characteristics - leafless trees, lack of fruit, overcast skies, cold temperatures, and dreariness. The repeating patterns  of winter helps us distinguish it from the other seasons. Each winter is not exactly the same but similar enough to help us identify the season.
     At times I’ve noticed squirrels scamper up the tree trunk, and out onto the limbs of our Pin Oak tree. I’ve observed birds taking moments to rest in the boughs of the upper branches. Through my observations, nothing wants to stay in the tree. It has nothing to offer but moments of solitude. It’s in its WINTER season.
     What a lot of people don’t realize is that trees...right now, in the season of winter, are really being the most productive. They have “shucked” the heaviness of  lackluster leaves, and is in preparation mode for its new season. A season of apparent productivity. A season of winter is necessary for the tree to reach deep into the recesses of the earth (which embodies its roots) and find the nourishment necessary for growth.  Tree roots anchor the tree in the soil, keeping it straight and stable; they absorb water from the soil. Tree roots also take nutrients and chemicals out of the soil and use them to produce what they need for the tree’s growth, development, and repair. Soon, it will be a new season and everything it’s done in the winter season will be evident in the spring and summer.
     And so it is with women who enter House of Destiny for nine months. Dead, lifeless eyes and features express the hopelessness they feel. Gone is the robust life they once lived. All that remains of what was once a vibrant, beautiful woman is a shell of what once was. Just as mistletoe sucks the life from a tree, so does drugs, from the life of women. It’s not what they planned but it is the way it is.
     When you see a woman who has been ravaged by the addiction of drugs or alcohol, she may remind you of a tree in it’s winter season. Her once unique form of gracefulness and vigor for life is now a spindly array of barrenness.
God has directed them on this journey step at a time. Lives are being changed. They are rediscovering purpose and finding their destiny. God has entrusted them to us...we plant them in the Word, we water, and God gives the increase.
     As the oak tree goes through its winter season, next season its branches will once again boast beautiful foliage and bountiful acorns. It will give life to squirrels and birds and birth new oak trees. Winter doesn’t mean it’s over for the oak tree and neither does the mistletoe. It just means something is going on inside so that it can be what it was created to be and produce new life.
     Just wait till you see these women in their next season. It might be winter for them now but God is doing a deep work...down in the roots. He is giving the life saving nutrients of HIMSELF that will sustain them. He is giving them strength needed to fight off the plagues of drugs and alcohol that previously had sucked the life from them just like mistletoe does from the oak tree. God is bringing about change and restoration through the winter season. The old look will take on a new beauty. They will once again have something to offer. Something’s moving...something’s changing...see His glory...God’s GLORY!  He is BEAUTIFUL!!
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