The Sapling

I had spent the night in tears because of something cruel that someone had done to me. I finally dropped off to sleep around 5:00 A.M., only to be rudely awaken at 5:30 by—of all things—the timer on my stove! How or why, I still don’t know, for no one had touched the stove since the night before. However, when I went into the kitchen to investigate, I could feel the presence of the Lord, and so I decided to spend the rest of the night in Bible study and prayer.

I read my New Testament passage first, then I opened my journal. I fully intended to write down my thoughts from my reading, but before I could complete my first sentence, waves of sleepiness began rolling over me. I decided to give in. After all, I had a full day ahead of me, and my night had been very short. After dozing a few seconds in my chair, I jerked myself awake enough to go lay down. As I was putting my pencil down, however, I noticed some strange letters on my journal. I stared at them for a few seconds, trying to make my sleepy eyes focus, until I finally made out the letters “EX”. The book of Exodus. That was where I had left off with my Old Testament reading the day before! How had these letters gotten onto my journal, in my own writing?

Again sensing the presence of God, I opened my Bible to Exodus, chapter 13, and my eyes dropped to the last verse: “He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” Ex. 13:22. In my mind, the vision of the glorious cloud of fire and light sweep away my sleepiness. “Lord,” I whispered, “I wish I had a pillar of light and fire right now. I need evidence that You are here!

Then a voice spoke to me, and my fingers wrote the following words in my journal: The cloud is still there, child. It shines before you now!

Amazed, I responded by writing the words, Open my eyes, Lord, that I may see!

A billowing white cloud rose up before me, and in the centre of the cloud sat my Savior, smiling at me, beckoning for me to come. I allowed my thoughts to flow to Him, and as I did, everything around me became a blur of colour. Then, suddenly, I stood before a dense—but stunted—forest. The trees were rooted in shallow, sandy soil, and as I watched, a few came crashing down around me. Though they weren’t tall, I wondered that any of the trees could stand in the wind that whistled overhead.

My eyes were then drawn to a dwarfed, twisted sapling that stood before me. “It’s a good thing it’s not as windy down here,” I thought to myself. “This poor tree would never be able to stand up to the storm overhead!” I stared at the gnarly roots. They were so tangled around rocks that it was a wonder they found their way into the soil at all. But as I watched, the tree began to grow. In just a few seconds, it had shot up through the cover of leaves overhead until it stood proud and strong, a hundred feet above the rest of the forest.

“It won’t last long,” I thought to myself. Yet, though the wind ripped at it and tossed it about, it didn’t fall! My eyes traveled back down the proud trunk to those gnarly, rock invested roots, and it suddenly became clear. The tree needed those rocks as an anchor! As I stared at the rocky ground, it began to bellow and glow: just like I had envisioned the cloud of fire and light! God’s presence was right there amongst the rocks!

Seconds later, I found myself back in my family room, my eyes riveted to Exodus 13:22. Suddenly it all made sense. The rocks were trials. They were the mean things people around me said. The horrible things they did. Yet, amongst the trials was the pillar of fire and light—Jesus. By reaching out to him when my world was falling apart, my roots would grow around all the troubles in my life, firmly anchoring me to my Lord. I would grow taller than all the others, and I would not fall in the winds of strife!

“Thank You, Lord!” I prayed. “Thank you for the cloud of your presence that is always about me. When I’m feeling alone, open my eyes that I may sense your presence, that I may grow strong, in you!” And then I opened my journal, and under the strange letters “EX”, I wrote:


By Lyn Chaffart

Receive our free newsletters

The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available. 


The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.

Visit Answers2Prayer

Subscribe Here:
The Illustrator
The Nugget

Your email:

Please be aware that you will receive a confirmation message via email. Once you receive it, please click on the link mentioned in the email. If you have problems please email us.