I saw a tree today, but not just any tree. It was dwarfed by a forest of evergreen towers. The image caused me to reflect on how I have felt now and then, small and insignificant, surrounded by towering titles and powerful positions.
Normally I wouldn’t even have noticed that tree, for the six-foot fence that blocks most of our neighbor’s yard from view, but – for its vibrant red foliage. I’ve often wondered why God has designed certain leaves to turn colors in the autumn of their lives before winter strips them bare.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the red tree for a long while. The crisp air tried to chase me inside, but not even the lonely grey sky could suppress my spirit. The red tree had a message for me and I wasn’t moving until I heard it. The blue jays fell silent, and the wind stood still. Even the sleeping stars were getting out of bed to listen.
Of course it wasn’t the red tree speaking, it was God. God uses his creation all the time to speak to me, and He knows how to get my attention. I’ve come to understand that sometimes even the real worth while issues in life are nothing but distractions, glorified rabbit trails, steeped in conviction, but ending so far away from Him. The red tree’s magnetic field held my gaze. God was pushing back the curtains of distraction, and taking center stage.
Many analogies and object lessons related to trees and faith, bubbled to the surface of my mind, but God pushed them aside as well. I get in the way so easily. I think I know, I jump to conclusions, I assume – it’s all about how clever I am…..
OK God, I get it – tell me what it is You want to say…
In one magnificent, mysterious second I knew. The red tree was a symbol for my faith relationship with God. In the midst of a dark kingdom rising, standing at the edge of winter in the autumn of my days I could pulse neon red, alive and in love with Christ, brighter than when I first believed, if I stayed close to Him.
I would need His strength more than ever before to stay close to Him.