It has been stormy here in Florida. The days are hot and sunny, but the afternoon and evenings bring torrential winds and rain. I love this weather! But our new trees do not. We have just planted new palm trees in our yard and they aren't yet strong enough to withstand the force of these blowing winds. Palm trees are known for withstanding hurricane force winds. They are often the only thing left standing after the blast of a hurricane. Our poor trees did not stand a chance. You see, they are newly planted. The roots haven't had time to grow deep into the ground to secure themselves to the earth around them. With the wind and rain that we have had lately, the trees just couldn't hold on. They toppled right over. This is the way it is with our faith. A newly planted soul must be given time to nurture and grow deep in Christ's word. Otherwise, the first fierce wind of temptation will blow it down. Patiently we must lift that heavy tree off of the ground and support it with braces and stakes to keep it safe and protected. That is what prayer does. As we are facing the troubles of our lives, it is necessary to pray and read the Word to find the strength to stand up. This strength will come over time, but certainly not instantaneously! We have to grow and nurture our faith. Watering it patiently each day as we would a newly planted tree. Stake it to support it until it's roots can reach deep. Reaching deep into the Word of God each day is like watering your soul. Reaching out to friends and family for prayers is like the stakes supporting our tree now. One cannot expect to never fall or fail. We are human, after all. The trials and tribulations we all face each day are what deepen our faith. They make us stronger. There are days that are full of doubt, where I can't see past what is going on right now. But my tree is planted firmly. Yes, it has been shaken. But it is secured and braced to withstand whatever weather comes my way.