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Be a Pine Tree

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 At least there is hope for a tree…if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its root may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.

—Job 14:7-9

Pine Trees

Before straight-line winds tore through our neighborhood one summer, we used to have stately pine trees gracing the fence line of our backyard. Despite the trees determined effort to withstand the storm's fury that fateful day, several of them, looking more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, had to be cut down. Three rather defiant pine trees managed to remain rooted in place, although they were snapped in two in the process. After all the debris was cleared away, those three broken pines stood as the only evidence of the chaos that had ensued.

Over time, however, I noticed a most remarkable thing happening to them. Those sheared off pines began to grow upwards once more. If you could see them today, you would never suspect the trauma that they weathered in years past. With my curiosity peaked by this phenomenon, I made a trip to our local library to do some research. Sadly, we didn't have google back in those days.What I discovered forever changed the way I view pine trees.Here are just a few tidbits to show you why:

  • Pine trees are among the tallest, thickest and oldest trees on the planet; the Coastal Redwoods are over 350 feet tall; the Mexican Cypress are over 50 feet in diameter and the Bristlecone pine is more than 6,000 years old.
  • Pines are also one of the most adaptable; they can be found in rainforests or clinging to the steepest mountain slopes.They grow where other trees cannot.
  • Though their wood is soft, its strong-smelling resin helps prevent decay and disease from insect infestation.
  • Their sloping branches and smooth flexible needle-shaped "leaves" are made to cope with heavy snowfalls, which allows them to shed snow without their limbs breaking under its weight.
  • They have built-in "anti-freeze" to help them withstand sub-zero temps and root systems that sink deep into the earth's crust to draw out nourishment.

Little could I have imagined how that visit to the library would impact me. God, in His infinite wisdom, used three broken pine trees to teach me valuable lessons about my own faith walk.This is what I learned: if I want my faith to stand the test of time, to grow strong despite the difficult places I may find myself planted. If I want to have a heart that is soft, yet able to resist the decaying effect of the world. If I want the ability to release into God's care the heavy burdens that often weigh me down, and if I want to rise back up when I've been cut down and have roots that sink down deep into God's nourishing soil, I need to follow the example of those pine trees.

Perhaps that is why I so love having a fresh-cut pine prominently displayed in my home each Christmas. Its evergreen form is a beautiful reminder to me of the gift I can give back to the Savior… a life planted and flourishing in Him!

If there is hope for a pine tree Lord, then there is hope for this heart of mine. Help me to live out their lessons in my walk with You today!

Lovely Ragtag Church
New Beginning
 

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