The Oak Tree
By: Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.
A mighty wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree's leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark
But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke
How can you still be standing Oak?
The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, make me sway
But I have roots stretched in the earth
Growing stronger since my birth
You'll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me
Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I've found, with thanks to you
I'm stronger than I ever knew
This is a poem I heard on Sunday night during an amazing CES fireside by Elder M. Russell Ballard. I felt like many parts of his talk were geared especially toward me, this poem especially.
Well, today in institute, my teacher used this poem in the lesson. Even though I just heard it two days ago, I needed it again today. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to reflect on my life and relate this poem to it. I hope that during hard times I can be like this oak tree:
It's obviously missing leaves some of the branches look quit scraggly. But, it stands tall and strong. It looks like it has a strong base and will not move.
I love the imagery this poem provides. Life is full of many winds that blow us to and fro. The wind strips off our bark, and pulls off our leaves. However, if we are planted firmly in the gospel, and have that strong foundation, we will not fall. We can stand still during all the adversity in life. I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ who keep me standing tall, when I am getting tossed in the wind. I know that if I rely on them, I can overcome anything! I also know that when I don't lean on them for support, I will get tossed back and forth in the wind. I am so blessed to have the gospel in my life! I honestly don't know how I could get through life without it!