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Friday, November 16, 2007

Under the Tree

This is how I found our scavenger the other afternoon. (My camera died before I could get the really great picture.) I saw him laying on our outdoor bar eating someboy's discarded icecream bar and drinking somebody else's discarded soda, grabbed my camera, ran out the door and shouted in my most stern motherly voice, "Palmer!" He looked at me with one leg propped in the air, smiled and said, "Cheese!"
Our little scavenger is also a ham!

The more I watch Palmer pilfer through our leftovers, drinking what we leave on the counter and eating what we leave on the table...happily, the more I realize how responsible for my children (and others) God has placed under me for spiritual care I am.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take a branch from the top of a tall cedar, and I will plant it on the top of Israel’s highest mountain. It will become a majestic cedar, sending forth its branches and producing seed. Birds of every sort will nest in it, finding shelter in the shade of its branches. And all the trees will know that it is I, the Lord, who cuts the tall tree down and makes the short tree grow tall. It is I who makes the green tree wither and gives the dead tree new life. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I said!” Ezekial 17:22-24 NLT

I am this tree. A once dead tree that God has given life to and made to flourish. I am a flourishing tree providing food, shelter and protection for my young. Wow!
If I'm not producing fruit, they're not eating.
If I'm not growing, they don't have shelter.
If my branches and leaves begin to wither, they don't have protection.

"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples." John 15:5-8 The Message

"I will heal their waywardness. I will love them lavishly. My anger is played out.I will make a fresh start with Israel. He'll burst into bloom like a crocus in the spring.He'll put down deep oak tree roots, he'll become a forest of oaks!He'll become splendid—like a giant sequoia, his fragrance like a grove of cedars!Those who live near him will be blessed by him, be blessed and prosper like golden grain.Everyone will be talking about them, spreading their fame as the vintage children of God.Ephraim is finished with gods that are no-gods. From now on I'm the one who answers and satisfies him.I am like a luxuriant fruit tree. Everything you need is to be found in me." Hosea 14:4-8 The Message

God is the life source for me. Everything I need is to be found in him. When I find everything in him, I will become like a forest of oaks, a splendid, giant tree!

I love the imagry of trees in the Bible. I love it from the forbidden tree in the garden of eden to the redemptive tree of life that Christ was crucified on to the Tree of Life we will eat from in Revelations. I love the theme of trees. I like to see myself as a tree.

Psalm 144:12 has been on my heart lately.

"Make our sons in their prime like sturdy oak trees, Our daughters as shapely and bright as fields of wildflowers." The Message

How I want my children to be like well-nurtured plants and wildflowers. Plants that will grow into strong trees. Like plants that will be plucked and planted on high places by God...to eat feasts prepared just for them instead of leftovers under the tree of another. Then others can take refuge under their protection because they are strong and mature in Christ.


Kathryn, Michael & Alex said...

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

God let us be that tree that trusts you. Let us be that tree that teaches our children Your Word and Your Way so that they do not have to scavenge for someone else's leftovers!!!

Wilhelmine Mitchell said...

With the billions of people now living in the world, isn't it awesome to realize there are no two exactly alike. God made each one of us to be one of a kind, very unique. Thanks be to God!