As I drive down my street, I always take notice of a particular tree in a neighbor’s yard that stands about 150 ft high and is in the perfect position in the front yard. It provides a good amount of shade in the summer and when it sheds its leaves in the fall, it seems to happen all at once, so it’s cleaned up pretty quickly. The job of the tree is to provide protection to the house with shade and also as a barrier to the elements of infrequent harsh weather. It stands there strong and tall, constantly doing it’s job and not complaining.
I think what really speaks to me with this tree is the fact that its branches are always lifted towards heaven. Whether it’s spring or winter, the branches full of blossoms or completely barren, those branches are lifted and I get the distinct feeling that the tree is giving praise to it’s Creator. I am amazed when I ponder that because the tree has to go through the brunt of every season, no matter how harsh it is, all while consistently doing it’s job.
It may sound a little reaching for you, but I believe the trees are a message to each of us to stay focused on our purpose and never give up. We will weather many different seasons but if our roots are deep, immersed in God’s foundation, then we will be strong enough to endure whatever comes our way and we will be able to continue doing our jobs. We won’t complain, but we will continuously lift our hands to give praise as we drink in His Son that gives us strength.
When we have gone through the worst of winters, the blooms that start budding will give us encouragement and we will stay focused so we can see those buds fully bloom. There is beauty in the cycle of life. To step back and see the full scope really seems to put the beauty in the forefront, while all the suffering fades. What we see others going through is not the whole picture. While we won’t know all the details, we are called to trust God. He knows the details and He will make everything right in His time. Our job is to give Him praise while we do what we were called to do.
“Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! for indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”
If we endure what life is throwing at us now, we will enjoy peace in eternity. I think that’s much more satisfying than having an easy life now and paying for it in eternity. Interestingly enough, God has given us His peace, we just haven’t received it. That’s our choice, not his. Perhaps if we were a little more like the tree and just lift our hands to him it would work twofold. To give Him praise and to catch the peace He is pouring down on us.