Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” (NLT)
A tree holds immense beauty in all its seasons of life. Flowering blossoms in bright hues adorn a tree in spring time. Lush green leaves on the tree reach out for the sun of summer while casting their cooling shade across the fields. Brilliant red, orange, and yellow leaves glow like embers with the shortening days of autumn. And the winter tree is brought inside, decorated with glimmering lights, glistening garlands and sparkling ornaments to welcome the Christ child during the dark days of winter.
As I sit quietly in the glowing light radiating from my Christmas tree, I spot a darkened shadow. Beneath the lights and the decorations, something lurks. Beyond all the forest green needles, a bleak future stares back at me. Soon, all the beauty that envelopes the Christmas tree will fall away.We will move on from the festive lights of a Christmas tree to the dark blood-stained wood of the tree on Calvary. Christmas’ happiness soon gives way to a somber season of Lent.
I come from a long line of tree-loving people. My grandfather lovingly pointed out and named each tree as we walked along pathways. My mother inherited the same love for trees. One of her favorite poems was “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. I love the fact that throughout the Bible and Jesus’ ministry, trees play a predominant role in teaching. Depending on the version of the Bible, 296 verses mention trees. Some verses are used to instruct us how to stand strong like a tree. While other verses show us what happens to a tree that does not bare fruit. Pictures of tree roots are even used to describe our ancestry in Christ.
Luckily, the tree story does not end with the tree of Calvary. Similarly, we do not remain stuck in a time of Lent. Another glorious tree awaits us in Revelations 22:2 “It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.” The tree of life blooms forever along with our Risen Savior as its source of light. In heaven, with Jesus, the tree of life will nourish us and heal us. My dream someday is to sit in the shade of the tree that existed from Genesis to Revelations. I look forward to spending time listening to the King of Kings tell me about His trees.
Yvonne with Orphan Relief Effort, Inc.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”