In the center of a town stood a giant oak tree. The tree had been planted there many decades earlier to mark the founding of the town. The tree was massive, and had proven that it could withstand any storm. Through wind, rain, sleet, and snow, it had held its ground. Through spring, summer, fall, and winter, it had remained. It was an abiding symbol of strength for the townspeople, and they had come to think of it as an object lesson for the strength of the town.
Then one day an unimpressive little storm blew through the town, and to the horror of the townspeople brought down the giant oak. Such a thing seemed unimaginable, and so an investigation was immediately begun. A tree expert was brought in to examine the felled giant. Everybody wanted to know what could have possibly happened to their tree.
It didn’t take long for the expert to render his verdict. Years earlier, the tree had become infested with a certain type of boring worm that systematically destroys oak trees from the inside out. The end result was a severely damaged tree that was much more susceptible to wind. Had the townspeople been paying closer attention to their tree, they could have stopped the infestation before it was too late, but that window of opportunity had long since passed.
Like that worm that eventually brought down that oak, something that initially appears small and inconsequential can get into your life and ultimately cause your fall. An adulterous affair starts with playful flirting. Drug addiction starts with, “I’ll try it just this once.” Murder starts with hatred in the heart. Theft starts with coveting what someone else has. These facts hold true for one and all, whether the person be a Christian or not. It is nothing less than sin’s universal way of incessantly creeping, gradually poisoning, and finally destroying.
This is why you must always be vigilant to guard yourself. Don’t dabble with sin. Don’t toy with it. Don’t rationalize it or try to minimize it. See it for what it is: a boring worm that won’t stop until you are lying on the ground from it. Only by remaining vigilant and resisting sin’s allure can you remain tall and strong.
I don’t know all the reasons why God had me write this post today, but I’ll publish it on the blog site and let Him use it from there. Some people will read it and never think about it again, but my guess is that somebody will read it and be brought under conviction over some “worm” he or she has allowed to bore into their life. Truth be told, I suspect that multiple people will find themselves in that boat.
If you are such a person, let me urge you as strongly as I can to take the post as your warning from God and deal with your sin. If you have never made the decision to believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, look to Him, the divine One who died on a cross so that all your sins might be forgiven. By believing in Him, you will not only experience complete forgiveness but also be given the strength to fully repent of your sin and resist it going forward. On the other hand, if you already know Jesus as Savior, what you must do is access the strength that He has already given you.
You see, your tree doesn’t have to fall, but if you refuse to deal with your “worm,” then you can expect a great crash one day. Many people will crash today, and many others are teetering perilously on the edge, just waiting for the right storm to come along. Friends, neighbors, and family members will hear about the fall and wonder what happened, but what they won’t know is that the fall began years earlier. It just took the “worm” some time to get its job done.