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:
- 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)
- 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)
- 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).