The builder of our post-fire new home is SaddleTree homes, whose President, Lee, is a wonderful businessman who finds great hope in Jesus. One day he told me the story behind the name of his company.
Lee started out in California learning the trade of framing houses. Over those years he learned the value of strong framing, because it is the stable skeletal system of a home. In the same way, a “saddletree” provides the hidden strength of a saddle. Saddletree refers to the foundation of a saddle. Historically, it was made of wood, thus the name “tree”, and in recent years some are made of synthetic materials. People may be dazzled by the styling and elaborate leather or jeweled coverings of a particular saddle, but it’s what you can’t see – the “tree” underneath is the most important element in choosing a good saddle!
Regardless of the various framing materials used to build on the foundation of our lives, we should remember that the true power for life comes only from our master builder Jesus. Discipleship is an inside-out process. The real power and underlying strength of our life in Christ is in what lies beneath, like the solid saddletree. Simply put, our external deeds and actions are grounded either in the solid invisible foundation of Jesus or something else. I know that where I am finding my source of life-strength can fluctuate by the hour. It takes persistent effort to keep first things first.
How about you? What other “power sources” do you find energy or hope in?
Just as Paul prayed for the Ephesians, so I pray for you.
Paul writes of his prayer for the Ephesians, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ …”