When the Bough Breaks

by Sandi Banks

C-r-r-r-a-c-k! The eerie sound startled us awake at midnight. From our window upstairs, we watched in horror as our 45-foot-tall Bradford pear tree crashed to the ground—splayed, as if by a giant pie slicer, by the weight of ice from a sudden storm.

Stunned, we silently surveyed the scene from above, as our neighbors ran out to witness the spectacle. That stately tree was all any of us had ever known in the front yard. Over the years it had provided welcome shade, a sanctuary for birds, and a stunning array of seasonal colors and beauty. Now its ice-laden limbs lay in a heap on the gray, barren ground.

Stillness hung in the air for a time. Then my father’s soft words dispelled the darkness of our world, and ushered in a ray of glorious light.

Four words, simple but profound: We’ll plant fruit trees.

Ah, yes. We’ll plant fruit trees.

I don’t know your story. You may be weathering a storm much like this one, where your world has crashed down around you and, like a giant tree, your life lies shattered and crumpled: Someone you had known and loved…something that had brought you joy, fulfillment, shelter, provision or hope…something or someone you thought would always be there…now gone. And you’re devastated. You ask heart-wrenching questions like, What do I do with my pain? Can anything good come from this? Will I ever be whole again?

We don’t know about our tomorrows. But our Heavenly Father knows. And in that desperate moment when it seems we are without hope, He wraps His comforting arms around us and whispers to our hearts: O beloved. We’ll plant fruit trees.

And we will, as we lean on Him and let Him lead us through the storm. He is in the business of rebuilding, of “bringing beauty from ashes…turning our mourning into dancing…restoring what was lost.”  (See Isaiah 61:3; Psalm 30:11; Isaiah 58:11)

And in the process, we learn who He is, and who we are in Him.

Remember, He is the King of Kings; we are His daughters. Royal Princesses! He longs to bring hope to our hearts—even joy.

The next time you feel anxious, overwhelmed or burdened by the weight of a life storm, picture your loving heavenly Father caring for you: with one hand under you, holding you, sustaining you… and His other hand over you, protecting you, covering you, as you nestle in and prepare your heart for something special.

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those who take refuge in Him.” Nahum 1:7 HB

 This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: As a published author, international traveler, and inspirational storyteller, Sandi delights in pointing people to Christ, by weaving insights and hope from His Word into her stories—her struggles, adventures, and humorous misadventures—through forty countries and forty-plus years of life. She inspires others to mine the Bible’s treasures for themselves, and fall in love with Jesus. (Stop by for a visit, at http://www.sandibanks.com)

Join the conversation: Are you in a storm right now? To what hope are you clinging?

4 thoughts on “When the Bough Breaks

  1. Thank you Sandi! I am sharing this with a friend who is in the midst of a terrible family storm. Praying it will speak to her heart and encourage her to find her refuge in the Lord. Blessings, Fran


    1. Oh Fran, I will join you in praying for your friend and the Lord’s hand through her storm. May she find comfort and encouragement in these words. You’re a caring friend. Thanks. Hope you’re doing well 💕.


  2. Sandi, thank you for blessing us with this encouragement. Although God usually shows Himself to us through human relationships, our ultimate Source is Him. We surely know that most when the human source is no longer there. Yet God remains steadfast.


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