The Fallen Tree
The weather was very stormy, and the night seemed to go on forever, the lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and the rain hammered all night, and the gardener waited patiently until morning light when the storm had finally passed, now he could go out to survey the gardens. There were leaves scattered all about, there were twigs and small branches scattered about, the flower beds were pressed flat, but sunshine should have them standing high again, standing tall and facing the sunshine, and then in the midst of the garden, he found it.
The storm had roared through the large main gateway, down the central pathway, and straight through the lovely central tree planted there in the midst of the garden, snapping off all its massive branches, leaving just a shattered stump in the middle of the mess, standing forlornly at just about head height. The junior gardeners looked on in sadness, and then cheerfully said, “Leave it to us boss, today we will have all the branches removed, and tomorrow we will have the stump and roots dug out, the hole filled and grassed over and in a short while it will just be a distant memory.”
The old gardener had long ago planned the whole garden out carefully, and this is a special tree and carefully planted in the right place, it was needed to be always just there, as its impact was needed just right there. He turned and looked at them and replied, “Would you please just clear away the broken branches and leaves for me, and I will attend to the rest?” As the hours rolled by, everything was cleared away, and a broken trunk stood forlornly in the midst of the garden. The gardener carefully studied the remains, made a careful cut to minimise the damage, then stepped back to survey the end results.
The workers stepped up and told him of their sorrow at loosing such an amazing tree, what a pity! The gardener quietly replied, just wait until spring, you just wait and see, for he knew that deep underground within the root system, was hidden a huge powerhouse of potential ready to burst out in new growth. In spring, the stump grew hair, bountiful and bushy, which was carefully manicured for future shaping. Another year went by, and a beautiful new tree stood, and now instead of a grand tall bushy tree, there was an even more beautiful weeping umbrella tree, and the children loved it even more as it became a tent like enclosure where they could play under its enclosing canopy, and to be able to sit and read under its many fragrant boughs of leaf and flowers, hidden away from the hot summer sun.
You see, God has suffered, and seemingly lost his “Only Son.” Isaiah 53:1-6 “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
You see, on Calvary, there stood a stump in the ground, and on it was no growth, to all appearances, it was dead and useless, to the untrained eyes, but nailed to it was “a branch,” Isaiah 11:1 “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:” You see, Satan thought that if he nailed the “Son of God” to a tree, then he would be a conqueror and victorious, and be able to destroy, but the Son of God was very different. John 10:17 “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.” John 1:4 “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”
God made Lemonade from a pile of Lemons, from something very bitter like the Cross at Calvary, he made “New Life” and something absolutely amazing, from what appeared to many to be plain trash. We all have done things that in hind-sight were not that sensible, and there are many about us who are more than willing to rub salt back into our wounds again, and remind us over and over again of our foolish errors, but not God, he takes our failings, our bitter Lemons, our numerous mistakes, our short comings, and by Repentance and Confession, we leave God our shattered life, which sin almost destroyed, God gives us “Rebirth” into a “New Life in Christ Jesus.” Where once there was death, decay and destruction, now bursts forth new growth, of a “New life in Jesus Christ” abounding, and we are no longer like what we used to be, for like the tree, we are very different, but now absolutely stunning.
Dear Reader; What was past, is Past, John 1:4 “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” Today, renew your commitment to serving and living for God. Your life may have been trashed by the storms of your past, but “In Christ” there is abounding “New Life.”