Sunday, April 29, 2007

Are you the tree?

The Tree

Deep in the woods, is a green pasture where an old apple tree stands. Many seasons have passed since the tiny seed was first planted. Great anticipation went with that seed into the ground. Other tiny seeds also
went into the ground, each planted with tender care.

However, as the young trees began to appear above the ground many became food for the animals of the forest. Others were merely trampled by those searching for something better. Only one small tree survived when a kind stranger built a small fence made of stones.

Through the years, the tree was almost lost by those wanting to take advantage of what the tree had to offer. Some came in search of food making holes in its limbs. Others simply wanted to make use of its strong branches for a seasonal home.

One summer almost all was lost as strong winds damaged limbs and roots. The tree seemed determined to survive as it poured its efforts into what was left of its body. That year there was no fruit as it spent time searching the soil for the nutrients it needed for repair.

For a few years, no new growth was evident. Each spring new leaves would appear and in the fall, they would be lost. Eventually the tree began to grow and fill in the gaping holes. Fruit appeared again - and in the process, it fed the birds of the air and its dropping apples nourished the ground.

During harvest that year, the stranger wore a huge smile and carried a bushel for gathering fruit. He was so proud of the old tree. He had fought faithfully for this tree, although the tree had no knowledge of the fight.

In those years when the tree looked as if it would not make it through to the next year, he had faithfully trimmed off the dead branches to make sure the roots sent nourishment only to that which needed to live. When drought came, he had come during the cool of the evening to bring water for the struggling tree. Many times, he had come just to sit with her and enjoy her company. Now that she was strong and healthy, he came to gather the fruit she bore. He would savor the fruit and then use the seeds to help produce many more fruit bearing trees.

Life may not always be a spring afternoon. In order to get to those times of refreshment and new birth- many times we must face a life that is full of endings. If we remember that our God provides beginnings new each morning, maybe the harshness of the hard times will remind us that God makes all things beautiful in His time. Let us concentrate
on what will bring a smile to the Masters face, not on what this world needs from us. Everyday stretch forth your arms and allow the Son to produce in you that, which will please the Father.

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