MEN AS TREES.doc
I will always be fascinated with Gods trees.
Mt. 13:32 Mk. 8:22-25 Isa. 41:19 Eze. 31:6 Isa. 42 Isa. 55 Ps. 1
Trees tell a story and the tree in the picture above has a story to tell. I think maybe its roots must go down a great distance to find any water. Why? Because I’ve been there, and it is very dry and windy on the south side of the Grand Canyon. This part of the canyon is located in Arizona and it’s like a desert, dry with winds so strong you’re almost afraid you will be blown over the edge to the bottom a mile below. Nature speaks and the bible gives truth, both in a language that are unique to our souls. Ps. 46:11
God planted that cedar tree there just so I could see His handy work. Seeing Gods wonders like this each one of us will perceive it differently. I loved walking along the edge of The Grand Canyon on the south side with its grandeur and panoramic scene, its rugged backdrop for the trees struggling to survive this harsh place. The Grand Canyon is a place of beauty and adversity. I adore looking, gazing, and feeling the grandeur of the Canyon and all that God has planted there. There is a river running below, the Colorado and looking from the rim it appears to be only a little stream, but its waters cut through this land that’s now an awesome landscape. How old you must be oh canyon and the changes you must have gone through in the many years since you were nothing.
My thoughts about that tree planted on the rim being so close to the edge it is so much like me. It survives because it has deep roots for life. Its branches are hardened from the harsh life of the Canyon. But still it continues to gain strength from the trunk that’s rooted deep and growing. To remain nourished and living, I thank God for Jesus who has grafted me into His tree. Yes, there are times when things go wrong. All is not perfect in the forest Christian community. Branches become diseased and fall away and it always leaves a gaping wound in the parent, but it can be healed. Jesus can heal and take care of those who are His. If the trees roots are not solid, rooted in the tree of Life it will not grow up with shared respect for Gods love or ways. The tree of life is strong and without being grafted in a tree becomes stunted or crooked, and its branches find carrying life’s burden all the more difficult producing little useful fruit.
The strong humble tree is the one that grows with its roots running deep, with all its parts sharing in equal care. This is the tree that will survive; this is the one whose branches will prosper. Life throws much turbulence our way, many ill winds rip at our trunks, but we can flourish when we share the burdens with Jesus. Many trees in our Christian forest find themselves attacked from the outside. The environment spews out many poisons, and our young are so vulnerable. But the worst disease of all is the one that corrupts our roots destroying the heart. You see this in the first joint efforts of growth taken by each set of the newly married young. It is then that so much of the future begins, and that is where strength will be shown. If we have a strong beginning of mutual understanding then the weather of future storms will be shrugged off from our bows, and like snow it will melt into the sweet waters of the streams that flow around us.
The stream that flows from heavens thrown will give life. Unlike the Colorado River that will join a certain flow to the sea - a sea that contains all of life’s woes and is watched over with the care of God. I walk by my conversation with my God, my friend, that’s the living Tree of life, and as I walked I thought about another facet to all this. Where does the little cedar get the power to start to sprout? Why does it bother? After all, it’s going to grow up in such a dangerous place, on the rim of the canyon full of dangers. But then again, the seed knows that it has a long history, for there have been so many cedars before it, and they too obeyed Gods creative plan of it being and all worthwhile.
We Christians have been given a great heritage that all those who came before knew that it was a special unique opportunity with God, one that could bring great light to the world. There are times when the Christian family may well wonder if it is all worthwhile. Look at all the problems we face, all the pollutants we must weather. Should we bother to try? Do we have the strength? Then we look to our past, to the wonders that God has shown us, and we know, we just know, that we can grow and be strong. We each live in the merit of the miracles that God has shown our ancestors, and in these miracles we can find understanding and perseverance. In this we see David extolling those groundbreaking miracles. We should always be mindful of them and nourish our souls with their merit.
When we internalize these wonders, then we realize that anything is possible. Our roots have grown in soil enriched with God’s mercies, and with His Word we can overcome any storm or drought. “Give ear, my people, to my Word; incline your ear to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable, I will utter riddles concerning days of old.” The Law is so very deep and wondrous. There is so much we can’t fathom; rather, God tells us His will through stories and parables so we can grasp a bit with our limited understanding. Even then we are faced with many riddles, questions that tease our minds, but no matter, for when what is today becomes the “days of old,” then all will be understood. Too often, we don’t realize how much this self-knowledge can mean to our young.
When things are difficult we should be able to look back and know that our ancestors saw great things, and that this merit is ours and well tied to God with events that have been the making of our very essence. We have seen what happens when we loosen those bonds, and what strength we have when we remain true. Yes, those trees whisper so very much to one’s heart. They reach up to the very heavens while they weather living in this world. They never give up or despair and neither should we, weather fair or not we will look at that landscape of heaven with Jesus perfect without spot or wrinkle together alive in Christ. Blessings Steven