My husband and I hiked a couple weeks back (those who read here often know we love hiking) and found a tree down on the trail.
We hiked at that same park last week. The tree was still down.
Late last week, I sat on our humble porch (which has become my watchtower). I hadn’t opened my Bible yet … snap, crack, crash.
The sound was both loud and subtle … and quick. If you weren’t paying attention, you would have missed it.
A tree just across the street lost its limb. Branch severed. Broken, banished from its lifeline.
I am still asking God today about this. Why did He allow me to experience watching the branch break off?
Then as I walked this morning, I came upon another.
The setting? A neighborhood. Trees lining the street, as ambassadors of the Lord, as reminders of given life, as motivators to seek Him not the world’s temptations, as hope-full bearers of fruit.
A recent snap, crack, crash.
There it lay, a part of the body that was of no use anymore, not drinking from the well, not staying connected to the root.
Somehow I felt sad … for this specific tree to be no longer whole.
The enemy is vying for souls, many already ripped away from the body of Christ. I am in prayer for many prodigals, adult children of faith-full parents who have gone astray. I myself am familiar with the vacancy in the eyes of those whose god is the world. God is re-awakening my heart to share the Gospel so that more souls will receive salvation of Jesus Christ.
Because in Him there is a living, breathing hope. I used to say if there is breath there is hope, but Our God resurrects the dead:
Tabitha (a.k.a Dorcas)
the daughter of Jairus
Jesus is Hope of life in all death. Hallelujah! For if He chooses not to bring back us back to earthly life, He has reserved eternity for those who love Him.
So, to all you praying people who have loved ones turn away from Jesus, He is not finished with them yet. Keep praying.
You are the tree:
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither … whatever they do prospers (Psalm 1:1-3).
For all who have turned away or simply refused to believe the Truth of Jesus Christ, the hope lies in the grafting.
Anyone may be grafted in.
Any sinner, any prodigal, any criminal, any and all wild shoots. If you are not Jewish, that is you and that is me. We were not the original, chosen in Israel.
But we are grafted in.
Paul warns us against feeling in anyway superior to Jews who have not believed Jesus the Son of God who died for their transgressions and the world’s:
You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For of God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either (Romans 11:18-21).
Yes, trees impress upon us life in Him is a choice. Let us remain in His presence, connected to the root. Let us never give up hope for the broken branches:
Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in His kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again (Romans 11:22-23).
I cannot thank God enough for making His Word come alive before my eyes. It led me to pursue Him, study His Word.
May God Almighty breathe life into your soul this moment. May you not grow weary in praying for those in unbelief. May your heart grow ever more humble as we remember His loving Kindness for connecting us to Him, the root of Jesse.
In that day, the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to Him, and His resting place will be glorious (Isaiah 11:10).
From Jesus, invitations to life flow as He holds every seed in His holy hands.
Where have you seen life grow, become, resurrect?
Thank you for joining me here today.
I have been slightly under the weather today, resting and choosing not to eat food, just the bread of life.
All the photos are from my neighborhood walk this morning.
Feel free to share your comments here or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love in Christ,