Mountains are curious things. According to humanature:
Most of the world’s rivers begin in the mountains. Because of their height, mountains act as water towers, diverting air masses and forcing them to rise, cool and fall as rain or snow.
Their inaccessibility has spared mountains somewhat from human encroachment and agricultural development, making them remote biological hotspots — diverse hubs of flora and fauna.
Jesus told a parable about a sower who went out to sow seeds. The seeds represent the Gospel, or “the word of the kingdom” (Matthew 13:19 ESV). The receptivity of our hearts is represented by different types of soil.
I’d like to take that parable a little further, assuming that we have been good soil. Let’s say that our lives are like mountains, diverse bio-zones nourished by the water and minerals that God has provided for us. The trees that surround the mountain are the fruit that has grown in our fertile soil. Some of those trees are “old-growth” timber, forests that have been around for a very long time, having been kept safe from the encroachment of the world around the mountain.
Left in this state, there is a semblance of security. The allure of worldly things is hidden by the trees that reach toward heaven. But, as the years pass, we hear more and more about the deforestation of our planet. A burgeoning population has need for more space and the resources provided by the mountains and the forests. So large areas of forest are cut down and leveled to make room for the expanding world.
As with the forests, if we are not diligent to protect our faith and its fruit, we will find ourselves more open to the corrupting influences of the world. When we allow one tree to be cut, it’s a little bit easier to let another be cut. We become desensitized to those who would have us believe that “a little sin never hurt anyone.” We become less dependent upon the fruit of our faith, and more dependent upon the world trying to shape us into its own image.
It is natural for some trees in a forest to die. Some trees become diseased or weakened by other forces of nature, and they are reclaimed by the soil, returning valuable nutrients to our faith. I believe that we have little victories which are stepping stones to greater faith. Once the “little victories” have accomplished their purpose they are no longer necessary for our faith; we have forged ahead. But in leaving the “elementary principles of the world” (Galatians 4:3 ESV) behind us we are nourished by the victories we have won and the lessons we have learned, and our trees mature to old-growth forests.
It is so easy to let down our guard and allow the world access to our lives. But like the forests of this earth, the forests of our faith, are worth diligently and vehemently protecting.
Don’t allow the deforestation of your faith.
***image from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rosaly-byrd/deforestation-the-overloo_b_5594821.html