The tree skeletons have fascinated me for several years but this year God opened my eyes to something new….
….they are just like God’s people friends!
Each of these trees are firmly planted and if we’re born again we have been planted in Christ,…
‘planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.’
With each of these trees the trunk has grown up straight but the branches are all different.
The first tree’s branches are all twisted, reaching out on all sides around it, turning this way and that.
That’s just what we’re like friends when we start looking around us, distracted by the things of this life, looking this way and that trying to find satisfaction in the world or looking here and there for help from others rather than looking first to our good God.
Then there’s the second tree, it’s branches were going out to the sides like the first tree but it’s as though all of that looking around has weighed it down and now the branches are looking down at itself and drooping. Isn’t that what happens to us, when we look around us too much?
We soon become discontent, comparison steals our joy and we look at ourselves and compare our path or situation to others rather than looking up and our spirits droop.
Then there’s the third tree, just look at it friends, it’s branches all reaching up to catch the sun’s rays.
What lessons we could learn from this tree by not allowing ourselves to be distracted by the world or disheartened by comparison but instead keeping our eyes turned up, fixed on Jesus, allowing the beams of His sovereign love and goodness to warm our hearts. Do you long to be like this tree?
Then the tree I love the most, you can see how it’s branches were once twisting and turning, this way and that, just like the first tree but then you get to point where it has been skillfully pruned and now each branch is growing straight up towards the sun!
Ah Friend, maybe you’re in a time of pruning now and you’re finding it a painful process as the wise Heavenly Gardener prunes you, removing the things you used to look to for distraction or showing you the worthlessness of all things here below, or removing those you’d look to for help.
Why? Why do these hard things have to happen?
So that we turn our gaze upwards Friends, to the Sun of Righteousness, looking to Him alone, trusting in Him until He becomes our all and we have layed up for ourselves ‘treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal,’ finding all our satisfaction in Christ and living with hearts lifted up in praise, not distracted by whatever may be around us but living to the glory of our God, through Christ Jesus.
Friends, whichever tree we are ending this new year like, let’s be praying that God will turn our gaze upward and fix our eyes of faith on Him so that we might live 2019 with Jesus first, Jesus last and Jesus as our all and in all.
Ez 17:8, Matt 6:20,
Wishing you each a year of rich blessing and a close walk with God,
Love Sharon x