“The Shadracks in My Life” by Barbara Westberg.
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (I Corinthians 16:13).
As the sleet pounded the windows, we sat in front of the fireplace and listened to the sounds of war. Ice-coated limbs cracked and snapped as they fell to the ground. The jungle at the edge of our lawn and the beautiful shade trees on our lawn were going down in defeat. We will always remember the Ice Storm of December 2007.
For twenty years we had let nature take its course along the creek (speaking evangelistically) that runs along the edge of our lawn. The jungle, as we called it, served as a privacy fence. Then the ice storm brought our fence to the ground.
I gazed out the window at the crystal world. Everywhere giant trees were bending their heads, their arms dragging the ground. Then I saw it—a giant cedar tree at least forty-feet tall. All these years it had been hidden in the jungle, surrounded by locust trees, shrubs, thorn vines, and all the other greenery that made up our jungle. Why had I never noticed this stately cedar?
In the midst of the bowing trees, it stood straight and tall—the cedar that would not bend. “Shadrack,” I said to the cedar. “Your name is Shadrack.”
For months following the storm, my husband and son worked to clean up the debris. They hauled off trailer loads of brush and tree limbs. Today Shadrack stands straight and tall for all to see—in sunshine, storm, ice, or wind.
How many Shadracks have there been in my life? Saints, unnoticed, hidden in the congregation, surrounded by others whose fragrant blossoms have caused people to oooh and ahhh. Saints who have simply stood straight and tall as others have fallen under the load. Saints who have not bent to the whims and fashion of the world.
One Shadrack in particular comes to mind. Her husband died an alcoholic. Two children committed suicide. Emotional storms shook her world. In a jungle of tangled relationships, bitter words, and icy feelings, she stood. She stood for what she believed, silently, calmly. The winds blew, the storms raged, but she stood. She didn’t stand out in the congregation. She didn’t sing specials, or play an instrument, or even teach a class. She was just one of the anonymous. But she stood, a Shadrack—stately, strong, silent—a testimony to the power of deep roots.
Thank God for the Shadracks in my life, those who simply by standing straight and tall have taught me great lessons. God give us more Shadracks.
FROM: Pure Ministry – UPCI Ladies Ministries – email@example.com