Hollow Faith by Delayne Rasmussen

By June 10, 2021August 5th, 2021Stories and Testimonies, Women, Women

I often wander through nature and find that God seems to point out little things to me.  During one hike, I noticed some hollowed out trees – some fallen over, some still standing, some with a tree hollow like in the fairy tales – where little families of chipmunks or rabbits would live.  As I noticed these hollows, I was struck in a way I hadn’t thought of before.

Seeing these big trees rooted in the ground – standing tall with splayed out branches, vines climbing up the trunk of the tree.  And there in the middle, a tree hollow.  What caused this?  Will the big tree be able to survive the hollow?  Or will it spread to the entire trunk, hollowing out the core completely, ending in its demise. Where a final storm blows it over, roots exposed and unearthed from its once firm foundation.

I started to picture this tree in terms of my Faith.  I didn’t want to be a person of hollow faith with shallow roots.  The outside of the tree intact, for the most part.  Still leafy and green, rippled bark, expansive branches.  But the hollow, likely caused by stress from natural forces like wind, heat, rain or attack from insects or bacteria, was slowly eating away at the tree.  Without some sort of remedy, the hollowing would spread to the entire trunk.  The inside of the tree would be void of substance and the strength needed to stay standing.  Its core would be rotten.  Is this like my faith?  Void of significance and substance needed to withstand the storms of life and attacks of the enemy?

My faith is meaningless without Jesus as my Savior, God as my Father, and the Holy Spirit as my guide.  But I often realize I rely on myself to produce my faith – to muster up the strength and hope in my own power and on my own terms.  To rely less on Him and more on me.  I strive to do the right Christian thing, checking off my good girl Christian list and doing all the “things” it seems i need to do, according to my formula, to grow my faith.  And then God will remind me…but “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) I will do it.  Only I can do it.  You cannot grow your faith without Me.

So, when I feel my faith being chipped away by the things of life, big and small – comparison to others, a struggling relationship, a financial burden that seems insurmountable, a devastating health diagnosis, workplace gossip that leaves me defeated, those jeans that don’t fit anymore, that sin that is so hard to say no to, negative thinking habits…I will Come.  Come to the One who can replace that rotting core to a faith of substance.  Unshakeable.  Firmly Rooted.  Designed to Flourish.