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Dead Wood

  • Dennis Rainey Executive Director of FamilyLife Ministries
  • 2002 3 Oct
Dead Wood

"Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life." James 1:12

Lloyd Shadrach is a good friend, a leader in our ministry to families and sensitive to lessons God has for him to learn. He once told me about walking down a road after a thunderstorm and stepping over dead limbs that had blown off a row of mature trees. "It was as though God was giving me a personal object lesson of what 'storms' can do in our lives," he said.

"In the middle of the storm when the wind is gusting, the lightning is popping and the storm clouds are getting darker, it's difficult to believe that our troubles are purposeful. But God may allow a storm in our lives to clear out the deadwood so that new growth can occur. And isn't it interesting how fresh the air feels after a storm is over?"

As Lloyd shared his parable with me, I couldn't help but think back and reflect on the deadwood, several cords of it, that has been blown from my life over the years. One of the most important things Barbara and I have learned from these storms is that God is interested in our growth. He wants us to trust Him in the midst of the storms and to grow together as a couple and not fall apart.

Lord Kelvin was lecturing his students on an experiment that failed to come off as planned. He said, "Gentlemen, when you are face-to-face with a difficulty, you are up against a discovery." How much better for family members to allow life's storms to enable them to depend on each other and discover new strength.

Excerpted from Moments Together for Couples by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Used with permission. Copyright 1995 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. All rights reserved.

About the author: Dennis Rainey is the executive director of FamilyLife, an organization founded in 1976 with the goal of effectively developing godly families, one home at a time. Parents of six children, Dennis and his wife, Barbara, have written numerous books, including best-sellers Moments Together for Couples and The Questions Book for Marriage Intimacy.