” I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
There they stand. Tall, majestic, confident. Resolutely, they defiantly reject what physical evidence demands they do, cower in shame as apparently shedding trees should while succumbing to the raging storms, howling winds and burdens of snow.
Yet with arms lifted up in exuberant praise, they shout in silence what they KNOW themselves to be. They are TREES! Overcoming Trees at that! They have purpose that goes beyond physical appearance and receive sustenance extrinsic to themselves. Hear their palpable joy in laughter at the shortcomings of clouded myopic vision that looks upon them with disdain. You see what those scornful eyes do not see is that;
The raging storms have served to prove their enduring strength.
The howling winds in striping them bare have exposed their resilience.
The burdens of snow have beautified them to post card worthy status.
In wonder of wonders, winter has conferred upon these leafless trees the title of teacher. Faithfully from ages past they have continued to give the object lesson …winter’s torturous stripping is but for a season.
Triumphantly they display the lesson that faith without works is indeed dead as they keep their branches raised in salutation to their Creator. This is so because an internalized truth remains, winter is but for a season!
Even more steadfast in assurance is who their Creator is who will never allow a season of trial to prolong forever. He is faithful, He is true, a rewarder of those who wait upon Him. It is He who makes streams flow in the desert places to bring nourishment to dry parched places. He causes to spring forth that, which for a time and season, was despised as dead.
These leafless trees refuse to envy their counterparts the Evergreen. By their very proximity to the Evergreen they seem to have learned the experiential meaning of rejoicing with the rejoicing Evergreen that seemingly never encounters the tragic of loss of leaf. In apparent recognition of the immense honor bestowed to them through their testimony of endurance in the harsh seasons of life, those that strip them bare and naked and parade their weakness to a world that shuns all things seemingly dead and barren, they inspire the diligent eye to discern the truth that their proximity to the evergreen is purposeful. Rather than wallow in the bottomless pit of self-pity, wither and die, these trees purpose instead to reveal just who their who their Maker is, for indeed, God is LOVE!
So in perfect love all fear of being annihilated by winter has been banished. In fear’s place, fruit of kindness blooms as the leafless branches give rest to the singing birds and sturdiness to their nests. Rejecting envy, they refuse to compare and compete with the Evergreen but unitedly lift up their branches in praise. While they may find joy in never shedding their leaves as the Evergreen, they seek not after their own, their sole desire is to display to the world the faithful evidences purposed by their perfect Designer.
No record of the wrongs brought about by the harshness of winter is found neither in Spring, Summer or Fall. Day after day in the winter months, they kept steadfast in faith that winter is but one of four seasons, yearning in hope for Spring, but always because their Originator is LOVE, they endure! In doing so they give evidence to the truth that now abide faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13)…
I do not know what season of life you are in. By happenstance of life, should you be knee, deep in the trenches of winter, remember, this trial will not last forever. Learn from the trees. Ask our Heavenly Father to impart to you the grace to persevere wherever you are planted. Whether winter, spring, summer or fall, stand tall as you just may be the only tree another has in their garden. So purpose to live, teach and give witness to the faithfulness of our God and the wonderful fruit of His Holy Spirit, no matter the season!
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord for our God inhabits the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3).
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5)
“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4)
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
“Nature and revelation alike testify of God’s love”( Steps to Christ, EGW Page 9)