The power company informed us earlier this week that a tree in the middle of our yard had to be cut down and removed. It wasn’t very large, but it would become so and would interfere with the power lines, they said.
The tree was just a little twig basically when we moved in a few years ago. We protected it from kids climbing on it (actually they were just jumping on it as it was too small to be climbed), and we protected it from getting mowed down, also.
As I watched the process, it reminded me a lot of how God works in our lives. The first thing done to trees, of course, is to trim the tiny limbs. In our Christian life, especially as we are first beginning it, God needs to “trim” the limbs, too. Our limbs can be anything from “white” lies to not keeping our word. Please note, in God’s eyes, sin is sin, and there are no small sins. However, when we’re just starting out our Christian life, God again extends His loving mercy by convicting us in ways we can grasp and understand. In the same way, He helps us grow, not by giving us meat right away, but by giving us milk- 1 Corinthians 3:2 King James Version (KJV) I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it…. 1 Peter 2: 2 (KJV) 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby…
As we grow, there is more trimming to be done, and as with the trees, larger areas need to be hewn off. During this process, we get into the “meat” and begin to feel God convicting us about deeper issues in our lives. We can let this confrontation with our nature draw us closer and closer to God, too.
Sometimes, depending on our lives, we may need to uproot the whole tree to completely rid ourselves of harmful, hurtful vices, much like a tree which is cut down to the stump and the stump removed. However, unlike the tree that exists no more, we come back new creations, bigger and better.
Then, as we continue to grow, we need to be regularly trimming our “limbs” in order to avoid becoming like the tree in our yard which must be “cut down” again. Ephesians 4:12-15 (KJV) 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ…
How apt the metaphor for our lives is a tree! Bill, my husband, will be reviewing a book about the Roman centurion who nailed Jesus to the cross (David Kitz, The Soldier Who Killed a King, 2017). We often reflect on the truth that it is our sins (us, really) that nailed Christ to the cross. In The Soldier, the centurion literally did! The cross was a tree, and I am musing that trees are metaphors for Christians. Oh, how true!
My prayer and wish for you is for you to grow in Him.