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Lessons from Trees

These are hard times. Sure, in America, there is no reason anyone should go without the basic elements of nature,water, and shelter, but man does not live by bread alone. Counter popular belief, we aren't just living in a material world. Life isn't dictated by mere blood, guts, and grey matter. The Lord knows us, He knows how carnal our thinking can be. In 2 Corinthians 4:18 he reminds us, "while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." In other words the unseen things of this world drive the seen things of this world. Seen things go away, unseen things do not.

When we are surrounded with so many "seen" things to attract our attention, the the unseen realities that speak in a quiet voice fall out of focus. When we have more stuff to earn, care for, and protect, our attention is captured, and spirit is quenched. The product of a quenched spirit is all around us...and its lack is what has created the social ills we are plagued with. Like our electronic devices that become burdened with to much information, we need a reset back to the truest form of what is intended for humanity. A reset that can be realized in trees, that's right trees. Here are three things trees can teach us about ourselves.

1. Be still... A tree does nothing outside of its tree hood. A tree has no asperations of taking glory away from its Creator. It doesn't plan, maneuver, and scheme. It neither frets over the past, or worries for the future, it's just a tree doing the simple things that trees do. It doesn't complain. It thirst in dry times, rejoices with the rain, and Is happy to rest in the fall. Yet it towers into a glory that we all marvel at.

Much of the tension in this world comes from us trying to be something we are not...chasing glory rather than submitting to the one who brings it. Trees don't. They instead, bask in the Glory that was bestowed upon them.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

2. No tree gloats over its fruit, they just produce it. A trees quality of fruit is in direct proportion to its source of nourishment. The human spirit is like trees in this respect. Unlike trees, humans can uproot, remove themselves from dead spiritual ground and connect to the perfect spiritual soil that brings life. We don't have to regurgitate dark world of death that is fed to us. Nore do we have to stay in the vanquish of dead soil. Death only rules those who stay in it.

John 15:5-6 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

3. Trees are created to be used. Trees bring us shade. Sooth our souls as the wind brushes through them. They provide lumber for our houses and the right consistancy of material to produce the most beautiful of notes out of a Stradivarius violin. No tree lives up to its complete purpose and glory if it rots and falls into the decay of this broken world. As a Bowyer, a tear forms at the corner of my eye when I see a straight Yew tree rotting on the ground. Just imagine the beautiful, purpose that is lost. The same holds true with us, but at a greatly expanded level. God created us, and continues to grow us, and even whittles on us for his purpose. Unlike a tree we, for reasons I'm not privy to, have a choice in this process. The problem is, our self designed choices rott.

Its these rotting choices that we see all around us, the death and disdain for life is the fruit of disconnection.

“Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:14-17)

So the next time you are overwhelmed by the death of this world go find a tree and be reminded that the Lord has brought you new life. Be forewarned though, trees bring up as many questions as they do answers. Questions that are as important. Well, that's another blog post altogether...until then Shalom

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