Trees. As I look out our living room window I can see the vibrant green and textured bark lining the creek bed. Trees. They are one of God’s amazing creations.

Not only are trees in constant interaction with the soil, getting the water and nutrients they need to survive and grow. Trees are facing another battle as well. Microorganisms are continuously attacking the wood of the tree. Organisms like mold and fungi find trees to be food. Not only is the battle for life fought at the roots. The battle also takes place all up the tree, from bottom to top. Trees are repeatedly attacked by other organisms, bugs, animals, and people.

We are not much different. The daily battles we face are not coming from just one side. We struggle on all fronts, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Our battle to survive and grow, to be healthy is fought in every area. When we neglect one, we are in danger.

When our roots are planted in Christ, in His truth and the Word, we are continually fed. The nourishment to help us grow and thrive. Satan tries to throw his bugs and other organisms all over our bark. We are attacked. Yet Christ already won the victory. Soaking our bark in this truth will discourage the enemy.

Last night was difficult. My husband and I were dealing with different stressors. We weren’t upset with each other however by the end of the night I could tell Satan was trying to place a thorn bush between our trunks. The pokes and stabs of frustration and unmet expectation.

When we are not getting the nutrients we need from the soil. When our bark is not soaked in truth. We struggle, fight. Soon we find we are fighting the wrong one. We are pushing and shoving the ones closest to us, and they are truly not the enemy.  (Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. ESV) It may seem like they are attacking our bark. They may say or do something hurtful yet in reality, they don’t need our bark to survive and grow. It won’t help them either.

We all need the rich minerals found in Christ, His word and truth. Standing firm in truth and seeking first the kingdom of God will keep us from fighting unnecessary battles.

Struggles come from all sides. We can grow and thrive amidst the battles. Our trunks are strong when they are planted in the soil of God’s Word and daily soaked in truth.

Psalm 89:28 My steadfast love I will keep for him forever, and my covenant will stand firm for him. ESV

Ephesians 6:13-18a 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. ESV

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” NKJV