One of the gifts I received for my 40th was the tree of life. Not literally THE tree of life, as no one knows what happened to it after God banished Adam and Eve out of Eden, and besides, I have an uncanny ability of killing plants…Not great for the tree of life!
This is actually a significantly, important gift for a number of reasons, and is symbolic of the moment I am standing in as I turn away from the past and embrace my future.
When you reach the point of thinking life is over because of the way things have fallen down around you; when you reach the place of desiring death over life; when you reach the point of praying for God to “take you home”; when you reach the point where hope has been replaced by an overwhelming hopelessness – to think that life might come right again takes faith the size of a mustard seed.
And every seed bears fruit when it is thrown down to the earth.
To be reminded that life can come from the appearance of death is God’s miraculous at work within us. During the winter, trees look like they are lifeless, as the leaves and flowers fall to the ground and are trampled under foot. Their bare branches stark against the low setting sun, with its soft hues of pinks and purples.
And so can life.
But after the winter, spring has to follow: Cold gives way to warmth; darkness scuttles out of the way of light; and life burst forth from the rottenness of death.
The roots of a mighty oak go deep into the source of what it needs to live. So even when it looks as though it had died, it is seeking life in the hidden places.
For me – this is God. He is the one in whom my roots are deeply embedded. He is the one who even in the hidden darkness would breath life into me and into my situation. He is the one who is in the business of breathing redirecting life all around me.
The tree of life represents all this and more as I look forward to seeing what “Spring” holds. As life is rebuilt and seemingly begins this year.
And though the storms will come, I like a tree bows and bends with the force of the wind, I will not break completely as long as God is with me. Walking before me. Walking beside me.
And neither will you.