Life of Trees

In Spring 2018, I decided to read “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben. I still remember the “Why?” looks my family gave me when they found out what I was reading. Essentially, they thought the topic would be boring and could not imagine why I would choose it.

Though not the most exciting read, and in no way encouraging my hope of the existence of Ents or Narnian foliage, realizing how trees communicate was fascinating. Learning about the life of trees, especially why some are so resilient, renewed and deepened my appreciation for how nature shows God’s glory.

Be Like Trees

Learning more about trees also increased my understanding of where the Bible references trees. It gave me depth of understanding about how trees illustrate how we are to grow spiritually. For example, we are to…

  1. Thrive like the olive tree, which can live 500 years even when neglected because its root system allows it to get water quickly. (Psalm 52:8)
  2. Flourish like a palm tree that sheds leaves on purpose before a storm to make it less top heavy and therefore less affected by the force of the wind. (Psalm 92:12)
  3. Grow quickly like the cedar and in a wide range of climates with roots often as deep as the tree’s height. (Psalm 92:12)

How can we be like trees in our spiritual lives?

We can thrive like olive trees by continually seeking living water (John 4:10) and by trusting in God’s love. We can flourish like palm trees by letting go of what weighs us down during life’s storms (Hebrews 12:1). And, we can grow like cedars by establishing deep roots in the fertile soil of God’s word (Luke 8:1-15).

Sunday Reflections – Light the Fuse!

Some people use lighters, some cigarettes and some matches. Others buy “punks” made specifically for lighting fireworks. No matter what you use to light fireworks, you need a spark of some sort. You also need air (oxygen). Without either of those elements, the fireworks simply won’t light. And when they won’t light, they are called duds and hold little value.

What lights your fuse?

In a spiritual sense, what gets you excited? What motivates you, essentially lighting your fuse? As a Christian, nothing motivates me more than the value I have in Christ. Consider the following:

“”For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)

“You were bought at a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

These verses tell me of my value. They tell me I am one-of-a-kind. Some days, I don’t agree. I don’t think I’m valuable, special or unique. Fortunately, God’s opinion of me is more accurate (precisely so, actually) and real than my opinion of me. He’s perfect, after all.

What fuels your spark?

Without air, a spark will die, never reaching its purpose. Air, specifically oxygen, is the single most important element in the physical sense for humans. We can live 40 days without food, 3 days without water, but only minutes without air.

Spiritually, not only does our Creator stand as our greatest motivator because of the value He gives us, He also provides the “air” needed to fuel the fuse once it’s lit. Consider the following:

“The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.” (Ezekiel 37:9-10)

“With that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22)

Our very life breath finds its source with God, the One who can even rise up dry bones and breathe life into them once again. And if that doesn’t “fan the flame” (2 Timothy 1:6) for you, realize that He also breathes His Holy Spirit on use to give us amazing power to do that which He created us to do.

We can’t earn God’s love. He gives it freely. In fact, He loves us so intensely that He wants us to always be with Him (John 14:3)… forever (Psalm 23:6). His love shows through in how He values us, motivates us and fuels us… and that love is a faithful love that will always remain (Isaiah 54:10).