Lenten Devotional 2021: Day 37

Thursday, March 25 – Trunk … Support through Life – By P. Gushue

Proverbs 3:18 … she (wisdom) is a tree of life
Daniel 4:10-12 … the tree grew great and strong
Luke 19:1-10 … and climbed a sycamore tree to see him
John 14:15-17 … he (the Spirit) abides with you

The encounter between Jesus and Zacchaeus tells a story of how an encounter with the living God can change our lives. It is a powerful story of transition. However, if you are like me, there have been times in your life when the speed of this transition seemed unrealistic. I think that this may be why what struck me about the story of Zacchaeus was the sycamore tree.

The sycamore tree is a metaphor for the story of Zacchaeus. The tree, or more specifically the trunk, held Zacchaeus up and provided a place of security from where he experienced Jesus; and for me it provides a reminder of the continued presence of God during times of transition. The trunk is the core of the tree that provides the dependable strength that allows the roots to spread and the branches to blossom.

There have been many times in my life when I have wanted and needed to experience the presence of God. These were times of anxiety and uncertainty when I was struggling through transitions in my life … the year after finishing university when a career was uncertain, moving to Montreal away from friends and family to start a new job, the days and months after my parents died, wrestling with what I felt was a call into ministry … times when I wasn’t sure about what lay ahead or the path that I should follow.

Sometimes we cannot notice what has happened until we look back. How often, while we have been in the midst of our struggles, have we not noticed who was holding us up? How often has it been the unassuming dependable presence of a friend that has provided the support that we have needed?

Now when I look back on the times of transition in my life, I can see what I did not see or appreciate when I was in the midst of the struggling. I see the many people who surrounded me and provided support. And I also see that I was being held up through the strength of the Spirit of God – the strong trunk that supports my roots and allows my life to blossom.

For Reflection and Journaling:
1. Who has held me up during the times of transition in my life?
2. How have I been held up and supported by the Spirit of God?

Meditative Prayer:

Spirit of Life, during times of transition when the path of life seems uncertain
help me to recognize your presence and to rely on your strength to hold me up. Amen.