Who would have believed God used—and still uses—trees to teach us so much about Himself and about ourselves? The study of trees and their branches, roots, seeds, fruit, and more, is a subject worthy of pursuit. After all, He is called the Tree of Life.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
The gift of trees
Today is yet another windy day. Out my window, I see a mini-forest of tall, bare trees dancing in the wind. As their branches weave to and fro in rhythm, I’m reminded of a troupe of dancers. They look happy and free as they wave their arms, ready to pop out in their springtime buds. Ready to offer their acorns, seeds, apples, or other life-giving fruit to both humans and other creatures.
What better analogy of reverent thanksgiving can we visualize? In fact, the psalmist wrote of such feelings. “Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all the depths; fire and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind, fulfilling His word; mountains and all hills; fruitful trees and all cedars…” (Psalm 148:7-9) The psalmist tells us humans to do likewise. “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord.” (Psalm 134:2)
Many of Jesus’ parables are about trees, vines, and branches. Trees appear to be His favorite metaphor. He often compares a fruit-bearing tree with His followers. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) I see fruit-bearing as gift-giving. Like the child taking pleasure in offering a shiny apple to a favorite teacher or a spouse or special person presenting a plant or flowers to a loved one, we take joy in bringing gifts of love. Even Jesus as a babe was presented with gifts of myrrh and frankincense, both products of trees.
Trees are God’s gift meant for all of us. In my study, I discover countless lessons about God’s nature and love. Trees represent the mightiest and most long-living of all green things created. They point us toward who He is, who we are, and how the world works. They provide us with oxygen, shade, protection, food, shelter, and beauty. In fact, all living creation benefits from trees. Think about bird nests and bear dens. Picture rivers lined with trees that prevent erosion. Envision fields bordered with wind-breaking rows of trees. Think about a wood stove filled with logs. Trees benefit everyone.
Isaiah invited his readers to embrace the abundant life that God offers. “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)
Lord, thank You for the gift of trees. Like those that wave their limbs in praise to You, may we offer our thanks and praise in like manner. As we consider the bountiful fruit Your trees offer, cause us to bear the fruit of Your love, peace, and joy. In Jesus’ name, amen.