Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Trees


Trees add a beauty to the landscape that no other type of plant can duplicate.  They add height and lush color (more often than not).  While on a high concrete overpass in Portland, Oregon I remember being unable to see most of the city’s buildings because they were hidden among the “canopy” of the myriad trees.

There is another reason that I am thankful for trees, though.  They exhibit a few lessons from God.  Consider the deciduous tree.  It grows new leaves in the spring, produces shade in the summer, turns vibrant colors in the fall, and becomes barren in the winter.  

We all have barren winters in our lives.  Yet without those winters, we wouldn’t have the time to rest and store up our energy to produce new explosive growth in the spring, in order to provide shade to others in the summer.  God gives each of us seasons of fall where He showcases our talents, or service, or heart for Him.  Yet we need those winters, during which we feel barren, but in truth, are just resting up for the upcoming seasons (which may or may not come in the traditional order).

One other lesson that I glean from trees comes from the way that they grow.  Their branches don’t always grow in a beneficial way - whether to themselves or to others.  They sprout suckers at their base that steal their energy and must be cut away.  They have branches that grow too low for others to find shade under that must be cut off.  Sometimes they have multiple trunks and must be cut and trained.  Whatever the case, a healthy and useful tree must be pruned.

When God prunes me, it hurts.  Yet it is for my own good.  Whether it’s to cut away the excess that is stealing my energy, or to put me to better use, or to hone my skills in a single area, or even to make me “prettier,” God has a reason for the pruning.  I can take comfort knowing that the pain will not last forever, and that it serves a real purpose.

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