Sep 28, 2017

Where God Plants a Tree by Jan Hess

Where God plants a tree…

On a recent rails-to-trails bike hike with my family, my attention was drawn to three types of trees along the trail:  those planted near creek’s edge, large-trunked with tops bending toward the water;  others lining the path, tall and slender, straight and steady; and those which appeared to be growing miraculously out of rocks.  Creator God planted each one, bearing its own unique shape, size and stature.
As I mused on the trees, I remembered that Jesus often taught the disciples through the use of word pictures and parables.  It occurred to me that an impromptu lesson through living arbors lay before me.   This is what I gleaned from The Three Trees along the way…
The trees growing miraculously out of towering rocks represent wise believers.   Jesus said that those who hear His words and act on them are wise. Those who build their houses—their lives—on the rock and not on the sand would stand when the rains, floods, and stormy winds rise up against them.  Just as these rock-founded trees are strong and full of life, only those homes—lives—built on the Rock of Jesus would be secure. David, the Songwriter-King of Israel, calls us to “sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.”  Jesus, You are the way, THE immutable TRUTH and the life.  You are my Rock and my Sure Foundation.  May I walk wisely today, hearing AND acting on Your Word of truth which endures forever.

Trees beside the path, standing like sentries, remind us that believers are soldiers, too.  Paul encouraged Timothy to “fight the good fight” for the Kingdom of God, by remaining free from the entanglements of the world.  Like these trees in rank formation, we are to be vigilant in guarding, protecting, and assisting one another as we walk the Road of Righteousness.  Jesus, You are THE only WAY, the truth and the life.  Enable me by Your grace and strength to be undistracted and uncompromising as I walk the path You have set before Me.  May I be alert to others who need help as they walk along the way.  
Creek-side trees firmly established yet with tipping trunks, depict the posture of a worshiper.  Planted so closely to the creek’s edge, the roots and trunks appear vulnerable to the rise and fall of the water’s level.  As they grow wider and taller, the boughs and branches become “top-heavy,” and it is as if they are longing for the water.  They display such beauty and elegance in their plush-leaved, bowing heads, their backs bent in surrender and adoration.  Jesus is the Living Water, drawing us to Himself.  Heeding His call, we can only bow in worship before Him, just as these trees stretch out over the “call” of the water.  Jesus, You are the way, the truth and THE source of LIFE-- my life—the Living Water.  Your Word tells me that I am like a tree planted by the streams of water, producing fruit in the proper season.  As I drink of the river of Your delights, my leaves will never droop, and I will succeed in all You’ve given me to do, as I continue to bow in humility and worship.
Was the Lord showing me different personalities in the Body of Christ?  No.  I began to perceive that everyone who has put their hope in Jesus Christ, will exhibit each of these postures.  Depending on what season or situations we find ourselves in, our lives may look more like the trees fixed securely and solidly on the Rock.  At other times we will resemble the trees along the path, standing shoulder to shoulder with other believers, guarding the way and strengthening the resolve of a faltering sister to keep on the path.  Finally, there are times when, like the trees along the creek, our determined focus with be to draw near to God in worship and adoration, receiving the living water from the fountain that never runs dry.
Whether you find yourself in a season of settled security, of stalwart “soldiering” or of surrendered singing, may you rest in His presence and provision, being certain that…
Where God plants a tree…there is life!
Jan Hess

Every month I invite an inspirational believer and friend to share words of life in Christ.
I am so inspired by the pen of my sister Jan Hess. Hope you are blessed today as well.
With love,
Jessica

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