Isaiah 6: 13 And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be a stump in the land.

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On a recent hike through Red Top Mountain State Park, I saw a stump with a new leaf growing out of it, like what is in the picture above. I was amazed that new life could grow from such an old stump! I thought about how when the trials of life seem to deprive us of joy and hope, often leaving us like that dead stump, that through the power of God, we are rejuvenated and restored in ways unexpected. King David said in Psalm 23:3 that the Lord as our Shepherd restores our souls.

In Isaiah 6, the prophet of the same name, agrees to be sent by God to prophesy to the people of Judah in the Southern Kingdom, people about to be exiled for their apostasy and worship of other gods. Isaiah wanted to know how long he was to preach to the people, and the Lord told him until the day of destruction and exile.

But, even in the pronouncement of pending doom, the Lord reassures Isaiah that a tenth of the people would remain in the land, namely holy people of God. These holy ones who had not bowed down to other gods would be like new growth or new life on a tree stump that has been cut down. They and their descendants would serve as the foundation for renewing the covenant with the Lord after the 70-year exile came to an end.

So often in life, we cannot see how we can recoup our joy and our lives when destructive forces, such as unemployment, divorce, ill health, and poverty, cuts our lives down to size, like a tree being cut down, and all that is left is a stump. It seems as if the tree has no means for a second chance, but through the grace of God, new life sprouts inside the stump and continues to grow, despite the odds against it.

Through the power of Almighty God, hope is renewed in our lives, if we stay connected to the True Vine of Jesus Christ the Lord (John 15). Then, we are capable of new and glorious lives that testify to and give glory to our victorious King and Lord.

It seems today that all is lost and that a destructive force is at work in America, with high prices in the stores and gas pumps, violence perpetrated against innocents at work, the store, or at school, and political divisions. But be hopeful, people of God, for like the terebinth and oak trees, new life can sprout from that which appears dead to us. For there is no power greater than the Lord God Almighty, to whom be honor, dominion, and power forever.


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