How to be a Big, Strong Tree
Think back to your childhood. Were you ever in an elementary school play? Were you too shy to raise your hand as they handed out the roles, or perhaps away sick that day? For whatever reason did you ever end up being cast with a brief walk-on part as perhaps ‘the sun’ or ‘the moon?’ Worse yet, was your star role stationary, like scenery? Perhaps you were the household dog, the knight’s steed, or worse yet you were cast as a tree?
Well take heart… Turns out a tree is a much nobler calling than you might imagine!
Psalm 1 has long been one of my most favorites. The psalm calls us to meditate while at the same time providing within itself much excellent fodder for such rumination.
God’s creation is just shouting at us all sorts of deeper truths and applications of Himself, His Love and our purposes within His Creation. The psalmist writes that the one who meditates on the word and heart of God is like a tree well nourished by its proximity to streams of water. It is planted there. It is not going anywhere else, come rain, or flood, or wind, or snow. Neither heat of August nor frost of January will move it. From seed to it’s eventual decay it has laid its claim to stand.
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…” challenged Joshua, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15).
“Put on the full armor of God,” urged Paul, “so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Eph. 6:13).
Jesus drew a strong comparison of the gospel as seed: good seed, but falling upon many sorts of soil. Whether our ‘tree’ grows or not is determined by each one of us by the degree to which we allow the convicting Spirit to cultivate our soil. Those who will receive it, and nourish it, will flourish:
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matt. 13:23).
Paul picks up the seed idea with the Corinthians…
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” (1 Cor. 3:6).
… the believers in Ephesus…
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Eph. 3:17-18).
… and those in Colossae…
“Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Col. 2:6-7).
Whenever my wife will be away for a few days I am commissioned, “Don’t forget to water the plants!” A house tour often ensues as she points out to me where each precious plant is located. Not one of them is to be missed.
What care our Lord takes also to provide for our nourishment. His ‘water’ is ever nearby. We must only receive it daily to become healthy and strong in our God. A haven for forest creatures, a nourisher of life, a shade to the weary.
So go ahead… be a tree… soak up that water daily — twice daily! Be the best whoppin’ tree you can be!