Tough Stock

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You came from tough stock,” my Mama always said, and I would ponder just what lineage she was referring to. I knew about livestock in our field and the tree stock used in grafting, but I recognized she meant neither. When I asked, she always pointed to photos of grim people on shabby porches surrounded by acres and acres of dirt.

They weathered the hard times,” my Mama explained as she told of scarcity, grit, and adversity. Then she’d describe national unrest, civil war, and prison camps, and how these individuals persevered, pushing west on covered wagon caravans. They homesteaded land and lived in dirt dugouts for years until they took time from feeding their families to build their houses. In spite of hunger and heartbreak, they parented orphans, started a church and then opened a community school. Even the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, and two world wars couldn’t overcome their tenacity. It seems I had “come from tough stock” after all.

Thankfully, I haven’t have to endure much of a gritty existence. Unlike my great-great-grandparents, I haven’t had to kill my food or build my own residence. Yes, I’ve had my share of heartache and discouragement, but honestly, I haven’t known much lack

Over the past two years, we’ve all journeyed into new territory, haven’t we? Staring into an uncertain future we wonder if we will survive as well as our ancestors. Like Jeremiah, we ask ourselves, “If (we) can’t keep (our) wits during times of calm, what’s going to happen when troubles break loose?” (Jeremiah 12:5 The Message) What indeed?

Then the Lord reminds us that we are from His tough stock. Regardless of our human ancestry, we’ve been grafted into Christ by the Hand of our Father Gardener (Romans 11:24). “By His doing, you are in Christ Jesus,” Who has “the power of an indestructible Life” (1 Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 7:16). 

We may feel fearful of the next pandemic or unprepared for future hardships. Yet, no matter what lies ahead, “The Lord is able to make (us) stand” (Romans 14:4). The Root Stock that we’ve been grafted into is indissoluble and impervious to rot. The Holy Life within us will not undergo decay (Acts 2:27).

The lyrics of “You’ve Already Won” by Shane and Shane song speaks directly to this confidence: 

“I’m fighting a battle

That You’ve already won.

No matter what comes my way,

I will overcome.

I don’t know what You’re doing,

But I know what You’ve done.

I’m fighting a battle

That You’ve already won.”

In order to reinforce ourselves for the future, we must pause daily to understand the power that is already ours. Indeed, we too have the durability of an unbreakable Life. In Him, we come from tough stock. Let’s not just recognize that He arose once, but allow Him to do so again within us daily.