Last year when I saw myself being uprooted from the spiritual home I had been dwelling in, it was that exact day my dad asked me to help pluck some trees from his garden. Plucking wasn’t exactly the verb that I would have used, since this were fullgrown trees, who had been standing their ground on the left side of their front yard for forty-four years. I feared that their root system was as deep as the trees were high, and I figured we would just cut down the trees and then dig them out, but my dad had something else in mind and walked up to me with a chain hoist – my sheepness, is there a tool that he doesn’t own? It was weird seeing the thick and heavy steel chains hanging over his shoulders, dangling down, flapping combrously against his frail, eighty year old legs. The hoist can pull 2 ton, my dad beamed, but not knowing how impressieve that was and at the same time not wanting to dampen his excitement, I imitated his smile and exclaimed: ‘That’s two thousand kilos!’

Should you ever want to know how it really feels when you say ‘like a boss’, I would recommend you pull a tree from your garden using a tool like that. Holding the thick chain between thumb and index finger we let every shackle glide over the pulley, effortlessly – it sounded like a content kitten… prrrr… prrrr.. I had my eyes closed and became one with my dad’s instructions, acting solely on what I heard him say: ‘Pull down, easy does it, focus, don’t yank it, it’ll come, now pull, one two!’ And under our feet, far below earth-depth, we felt and heard the roots snap (it sounded like a muffled echo from a gone past) and we saw a promise arise; this is what the chain hoist read on the packaging all along, although implicitly: ‘A tree like that? Easy!’

But to see that promise become reality we had to work for it, my dad and I. I believe that I may and can have a similar relationship with my heavenly Father. That when I want to lay hold on His promises, sometimes that needs a little pulling on my part – after all we’re also dealing with an adversary who is all to keen on leaving a root underground. But I can be assured that in that moment of appropriation, God will be on my side of the chain hoist, pulling His weight.