It was unexpected. An elusive White-tailed Deer was my goal. (Seems elusive is a frequent word of mine.) Sitting did not work, perhaps following the deer trail slowly would. However, it was not deer or a photo of them that captured my thoughts and attention. It was a Burr Oak. A photo of this tree has been on my mind. Think of it, while all trees resist gravity. This one does it with magnificent against gravity grace. Notice how it leans out? We seldom consider the ceaseless pull of gravity. Yes, it does feel good to stop our resistance to it and sit down. Allow me to begin with leaves. While this tree has no leaves now, it will in a few months. To grow, leaves need water. We know that. Yet, since we cannot see gravity we rarely consider that to get to the leaves water must combat gravity. There is a name for this: transpirational force. It works with the help of a feature of water; evaporation. We learned in science class that the underside of each leaf has microscopic openings called stomata. The amazing by-product of every tree’s photosynthesis is oxygen. When it departs from the leaf through the stomata to refresh the air, a small amount of water evaporates with it. This process keeps water moving upwards-the transpirational force! What word describes this process? It’s strength. This tree is surrounded by hundreds of others. It’s a living sculpture in bark and branches unlike any around it. There is another story to share about this tree, but that will come later. For now, gaze at the tree. Consider the strength found in this Burr Oak to lean out and move water against gravity-every day of the growing season. Where does strength like this come from? God. He is the source of all strength. In Isaiah, God said, …do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10) His strength is in every tree, for He made them. But, He loves you. Trees are part of the garden he made for humans to dwell in. He has put his strength in Burr Oaks. Most amazing, He has promised to strengthen you. His strength is perfect. God’s strength upholds, it helps, and it removes fear and dismay. Seek His strength. He is with you.