It stands to reason that conquering doubt in the faith life is a constant, for God is always interested in expanding our “trust territory,” so to speak, the places where we will not waver in relying on Him. If we can resolutely say this here—
Thus far the Lord has helped us
1 Samuel 7:12 NIV
—can we take a step or several and proclaim this on new ground?
I promise I am not following you around!
Yet I have likely found
you in the creep of doubt….because that just happens in a life growing in God.
I think dear gardeners, for such continual conquest, we need a tree! The quintessential arborous-assist is the mighty oak. Under oak canopies an unquestioning leader, Abram, built an altar to the LORD and pitched his tents.
Abram passed through the land to the site of Shechem, at the oak of Moreh. (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.) The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.
Genesis 12:6-7 CSB
The Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day.
Genesis 18:1 CSB
Also, we need a poem!* How much more fun to linger over this in rhyme and meter! There are many oak species in the Holy Land and in our own lands, let’s consider the whole genus, then: Quercus. Set out with me as we welcome Q to the A-to-Z Primer of Plants from God’s Word, and its quirky signpost of the underlying, less-than-eloquent advice on the subject of conquering doubt: that is, simply don’t Quit!
is for Quercus,
the genus of oak trees,
set apart in Scripture
when one’s faith feels the squeeze.
Questions surely quiz us
as we journey with God,
and events make us quiver
with overwhelming odds.
We come through many quandaries—
happenings quite hard to swallow.
Lovers’ quarrels and squabbles
usually quick to follow.
Where do we turn to when
faith runs out????
Look up toward the skies
to conquer quaking doubt!
O Abram, do you see the stars?
What multitude in the heavens!
So much will your offspring be,
proclaimed God in His blessing.
We now know this happened—
a nation born: God was right.
Yet Abram had only trust;
he walked by faith, not sight.
He walked and walked, from Ur to Canaan,
called to a life migratory.
Moreh’s great oak marked his entrance
to the promised territory.
The land God said He would show him,
and so Abram went.
No query, question mark, or waver
would his thoughts frequent.
He believed—a quality we now uphold
when requesting evidence.
His faith was credited to him
as his righteousness.
Whether starry host or great leafy branches
compose your overhead view,
look to the LORD, hear the call—
“oaks of righteousness” beckon you
to display His splendor
through the Spirit of God:
good news to applaud.
Those captive are freed!
Those imprisoned released!
Mourners are comforted
with beauty bequeathed!
This is our heritage,
send up the chorus!
From the faith-land speckled with oaks,
planted alone and filling forests.
Both deciduous and evergreen
species make up Quercus;
trunks with black bark or white,
leaves ovate or lobed—quite various.
Diverse traits reign across the oaks,
easily cross-bred to further sub-species;
and sometimes they look terribly similar
to terebinth or pistachio trees.
Yet one feature unites
the mighty oaks:
the seed, the acorn
identifies these folks!
Likewise our great expanse
of heritage, culture, personality
are all cohered together as one—
by faith in The Seed.
The Christ, the Son,
the Righteous Branch, His cover we receive:
Righteousness is given through faith
in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Romans 8:37 NIV
For more devotions on Oak, see God’s Word for Gardeners Bible Garden Work section, “Abraham’s Oak,” page 835 and “Becoming Abraham’s Seed,” page 1282.
Text & Photo Credits:
©2018 Shelley S. Cramm Acorns sprouted in a Texas garden in spring. With many oaks in ours and our neighbors yards, who knows what species this might be!?
Abraham’s Oak rendering “snipped” from Google Books, Dictionary of the Holy Bible, William Wilberforce Rand, Editor, 1886 (click here for your free copy)
Your poems are always so thought-provoking and in depth! Am always pleasantly amazed by your connections, analysis and understanding of the scriptures😊