God has blessed us with such a variety of trees that give beauty and food and purpose, as well as offer us many spiritual lessons. He set many of them in the Garden of Eden, including the Tree of Life, and He used one to hold His Son’s body at Calvary. Whole sermons and books have been written about trees.

Eternal Perspectives      by Sally Bair

The life of a Tree

I’ve always loved trees, so much so that a friend calls me a tree hugger, in the sense that they’re my friends. Yes, trees truly are our friends. Created by God, they exude strength and beauty and purpose. What’s not to love about a tree in April that begins to unfurl its tender, pale green leaves and offer shade? Or a sugar maple that shows off its vivid red leaves in September? Or a white pine so heavy-laden with snow that it bows to the ground, sheltering wild creatures?

Trees don’t live forever, however, due to a variety of factors. Some have a shallow root system that causes them to topple during heavy rains. Some become riddled with disease, while others succumb to the infestation of certain insects and bugs. Even deer and rabbits can damage certain trees enough to kill them. And once a tree has died, it stops producing sap, dries up and loses its strength. Dead trees, in fact, have been called “widow makers” because during windstorms many of them fall, often killing men cutting logs in the forests.

The Bible has much to say about trees and their value. Proverbs 3:18 compares wisdom to “a tree of life to those who take hold of her.” And “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 11:30.) Jesus, too, compared trees to spiritual strength and purpose. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:19-20)

My favorite verses come from Psalm 1, which shows how we humans can be compared to a tree. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” (Verses 1-3)

When we delight in God’s Word, we can be like a healthy tree: strong, fruitful, beautiful in the eyes of God and others, and useful. No withering effects of the world’s “bugs” or floods or drought need to hinder us from believing in and serving our Lord.

Lord, thank You for comparing us to a healthy tree. Cause us to seek You, our Living Water, our strength, and our healer of spirit, soul and body. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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