just like a tree.

When I was driving the other day, I was listening to a c.d. of hymns, sung by Johnny Cash.  Most were familiar, but I still listened to the words and tried to be quiet and take them in.

One in particular sang about being “planted” and the beginning went like this:

Jesus is my Savior, I shall not be moved;
In His love and favor, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.

And I started to think about what the song means.  About being planted and being sustained in one place.  Being secure and not moving.

The chorus begun and repeated:

I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters,
Lord, I shall not be moved.

As I was singing out loud, I was asking the question, “Am I planted?  Am I rooted?”

“Am I planted?” was the question I asked myself over and over, that day.  And really this entire week.

I want to be planted.  I want to be like a strong oak, whose roots grow deep into the soil by a river that flows abundantly, but I feel the relentless pull of everything around me to go in the opposite direction of everything I want to be.  At times I feel that the world around me offers no hope and is filled with nothing but confusion.  Even the familiar things I have involved myself in, at times, offer no substance for me. I want to be apart from things that draw me away from the Lord.  Things that are nonsense.  But in the same way, I want to do those things.  I want to be normal.  Do normal things.  How does one separate?

I am relating to Paul, in his letter to the Romans when he said the following:

Romans 7:21b “When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

I thought about the Christian I want to “be”.

And then I realized….I dont want to be a “Christian”.

I want to be a Christ follower.

I want to live and be rooted and be planted.

…Not because it is popular (because I haven’t won any popularity awards for my religion, let me tell you that right now)

…Not because it is what I am “supposed” to do.

…Not because I have to.

But because it is the only thing that brings me hope.  Joy.  Happiness.  Peace.


How then do I become more rooted?  I search for the answers all the time, but I find that time and time again I come up short.

I am such a sinner.


gossip, envy, yell, hate, fight, lust, consume, judge, lie, ignore.

I am weak.  I watch horrible television.  I am filled with anger.  I doubt the Lord.  I cuss.  I criticize.

But I so badly want to be the tree.

I want to be planted by the waters.  I want to be unmovable.


So, I will search out.  I will search for the Lord. I will commune with Him. When I am surrounded by many, but feel lonely inside, I will seek Him. When all around me is far away, I will cling to His garments.  I will seek His face and come to Him early in the morning.  I will give up my pointless pursuit of happiness through status, money, people, friends, career, lack of career, dreams, aspirations, possessions, knowledge and wisdom.  I will hand over my life.  I will give myself back to the Lord daily. To be used.

I may be shaken.

But I will not be moved.



Filed under Religion, Uncategorized

13 responses to “just like a tree.

  1. Elma

    I just loved this post!! It is soooo hard to be in this world but not of it:) I sometimes question myself to: we had a wonderful sermon yesterday and every sunday I come home and wonder Am I doing things right  am I teaching my kids to be good christians followers of christ? I think as I tell my kids we are in this world but not of it. We need to dress and act so people of this world see that we are different and we are followers of CHRIST!

  2. Sean

    Wow! What an amazing perspective to share. You are as bright as you are beautiful.

  3. ahhhh, what a refreshing post. I am new here-and I must say what a refreshing blog you have. I have been on a bloggy break at my blog so I can re-focus on things that matter most…and visit a few new places along the way. Posts like these are what I have been looking for :o)

    lovely post-

    simply stork

  4. Very well put. Having a lot of similar feelings myself lately. It is so hard to remind myself that how my house looks or the clothes I wear or what people think of me just doesn’t matter. It can be so hard to focus on Jesus when the things of earth pull our attention away so easily. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today. I appreciate it.

  5. Thank you my friend! I needed that! (God’s so good!) What a week last week…felt the “world” full-on… but, I’m planted and I’m NOT moving!!! besides -His garden is just where I want to grow!
    Many, Many Blessings!

  6. kim hoff

    Loved the blog. There is another song called “I Will Not Be Moved” by one of my favorite contemporary singers, Natalie Grant. I am sending you the youtube link so you can listen to the words of the song. It parallels your thoughts.

    If the link doesn’t work, go to youtube and search for “Natalie Grant I Will Not Be Moved lyrics.”

  7. That is one of my absolute favorite hymns! Great post Rachel!!

  8. pve

    A tree’s roots go out and not very deep – so stand tall, do out and reach toward the heavens. Do not be moved…

  9. beautiful post of the ugliness of life and the glory we want to shine through it.

    …and re: your side note…i think openness and honesty and courage to admit and desire more in the Lord is always a priceless and uplifting glimpse when written and shared with the right heart and intentions…and this post was just that!

  10. Introspective, yes, thanks for sharing…be kind to yourself…

  11. Thank you so much for this post – I can honestly say that your words are exactly how I have been feeling.

  12. BRAVO. a very nice post 🙂
    appreciating God’s gift to us.

  13. oh yes! lord, help us to just DO IT. let’s get planted.

    love you, thanks for this timely flashback. xo

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