Jaclyn Holtz

March 2, 2021

Lenten Devotions

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

August 6, 1945 marks one of the most monumental days in modern history. The first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Although this day is marked by tragedy, there is something about this day that shocked me. 

Despite the destruction that the bomb had on land and human life, one of the lone survivors of this bombing caught my attention; the Ginkgo Tree. Externally these trees were stripped of leaves and their bark was left scorched, on the inside, the trees were still alive. Everything surrounding them had been destroyed by their circumstances, but still, they stood. 

The trees didn’t just survive the bombing, they also survived radiation, black rain, and some of the most stressful soil conditions in the history of the planet. Luckily, the organization of the tree’s cell tissues created a compartment within them that was practically immune to destruction. Not only did these trees survive, they also thrived in comparison to the few plant species that survived the bombing. 

This tree reminded me of what God promises those who trust in Him. When we plant our lives on the firm foundation that is Jesus, we cannot be shaken by anything the world may put in our paths. We don’t need to fear when trials come because we have a Heavenly Father who will continue to provide. Our God is so much bigger than our problems. 

In a year of difficulty and trials, we can still trust in God to overcome and to bear fruit. Each year after the explosion at Hiroshima, the Ginkgo trees bloomed and have continued to bloom every spring since. Trust in the Lord and the fruit will follow. Circumstances don’t impact His promises.

Lord we come before you today giving thanks for the opportunity to live another day for you. Father, we pray that as we trust in you we will continue to be planted in your love for us. I pray thanks that the circumstances we are in have no impact on the promises you have made to all of your children. I pray peace over your people because even when trials arise you continue to make a way. Lord thank you for a love that never fails. In Jesus name, amen.

- Jaclyn Holtz ‘ 22, Cal Lutheran Student

Univ Chapel 202021 theme (2)