1 Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. 2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 3 He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. 4 He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. (Isaiah 11: 1-4)
I like the idea of repurposing, recycling, and bringing new from old. It’s why I have so many antiques, hand-me-downs, and thrifted items in my home. I don’t look at old things as disposable…I see the beauty there, and the potential. This is a part of me that I consider to be in the likeness of God. He sees beyond what has been…what many would pass over and lay to rest…what is dry and withered…like an old stump. Most people see a stump as something that needs to be completely removed…ground up and discarded. But God…the Artisan and Creator of the universe…He reaches down and gently nudges a tenter shoot from the buried roots of that stump. And it peeks out, green and new, as if to say, “This is not over yet!” Maybe someone will come along and pluck that tiny sprout from the cracks of the stump, because unfortunately that happens sometimes, but it’s okay…because the roots are now teeming with life from the sun and the rain, and despite all efforts of destruction, new growth continues to force its way upward. When God sees fit to breath life into what seems to be a lost cause, there is nothing that can sever His lifeline.
Sometimes our families, and our lives, are like the line of David. We go through stuff, and that stuff can become a disease to our tree…we get angry or hurt and we just lop off branches until there’s nothing left. Sometimes we recklessly go ahead and chop down the whole tree! When a family unit, or a life, is destroyed by human actions…deemed useless and therefore discarded…we see it as finished…something to remember (or forget). But where the roots of love and potential still lie dormant in the dirt, from it God is able to coax new life into the light.
Your new day is coming. When the first signs of forgiveness (of others, or even just yourself) begin to push through the cracks of your stump (whatever relationship or situation that may be), let them grow…nurture them…let God do His thing. He sacrificed His own son so that we could and would have this promise of restoration and hope.
Everything that the prophecy of Isaiah promised that Christ would be, He was…and He is. The Man of Sorrows, born into humanity exactly as we are, tempted in every way, fully human…yet still completely GOD to His core, who lived His life to serve God the Father as well as the people He would eventually walk headlong into misery and death for…to spare our souls…to conquer death by enduring it…bringing about a NEW DAY for the children of God, and with it our one and only hope. On that day when He procured the ultimate victory, the earth did shake and tremble at His voice. One breath, His last one taken in a mortal body, the breath that ushered in His death, is what destroyed the enemy. He came to us, a tiny baby, a tender root of hope, and because of Him, nothing is wasted.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, when I want to give up on myself and others, remind me of the stump and the shoot. Thank you for grace and for new life. Amen.