It was a beautiful Autumn Day with clear skies overhead as I was taking my morning walk through my family’s pristine neighborhood in Frisco, Texas. Yes, my annual trip home to my precious Texas Family at Thanksgiving! And what a wonderful gift for me to be able to come from Illinois where the weather, at this time of year, is so unpredictable; to simply walk outside into the fresh air with the beauty of Gods Creation all around me…truly a gift to my heart.
And as I was walking the Holy Spirit whispered to me “Look at the trees!” This was amazing – as here I am walking up and down the streets within their neighborhood enjoying the sunshine, listening to the birds, seeing people here and there with children laughing and playing – and honestly – never really looking at the trees. Then He said, “Have you noticed that they are always reaching up towards the Heavens?” And I had to say, “No! I actually had not given this any thought at all.” And then I heard, “If you look around you – all Creation is reaching heavenward – not only the trees!”
As this is the same with Humanity – “All trees start with a seed which is planted deep within the earth – a secret place – where it receives the nutrients from the soil with the warmth of the sun to help it grow – while being watered by the rains from the Heavens It then breaks through the earth – birthed – slowly moving forward and upward to become what our Heavenly Father created it to be – a tree!”
“Now look at the line of trees along this street – notice that they are the same kind of tree – all from the Oak Family – but also notice – that not one of them grows the same – their trunks and branches look alike because they are Oak Trees – but each is uniquely different from each other.” And as I continued to walk now looking at the Oak Trees and marveling at this incredible, and unexpected, revelation; the Holy Spirit then drew my attention to a cluster of trees located on a hill at the Golf Course that literally graces and has become part of the backyard of my family’s home on the 6th Hole! He said, “You will see that these trees are not from the same family – but they are growing together – yes they are different and yet do not overlap each other – but actually blend together reflecting their individuality, and also, the beauty of each tree family.”
I then saw some dead trees mixed here and there among the thriving Oak Trees. And yes! They were still standing as a tree but with nothing growing – no apparent life to them at all – with nutrients no longer feeding them. And yes! They still looked like a tree with its trunk and branches, but now, with no leaves or color, just a reflection of what they used to be. As their usefulness was now gone. This was profound for me to be able to see this with new eyes – wondering if this is how we are when we choose to no longer walk in the light but in darkness. Choosing to stand alone and become isolated, and sadly; separated from each other, and from the Family of God! Oh yes, we still look like us but the radiant light of life has left our eyes – which are truly the windows of our souls. Sadly, sometimes those trees have to be cut down – with their roots dug up and replaced with a new tree willing to grow and flourish. Whew!
And then I remembered that our Heavenly Father’s heart is not willing that any should perish – as isn’t He the Shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to search for the one? But He will not override our choices as He has given us freewill – with the hope that we will choose to walk with Him and to love Him. As every day we have choices to make – and on this day – He chose to use His Creation, the Oak Trees who were simply lining the streets while sheltering the homes with their beauty in Frisco, Texas – to reach down and teach me more about His Creation. To show me how we are joined together as Family here on earth, and also, as intricate members of the Family of God – for us to choose to grow and to reach Heavenward as His Children! Literally takes my breath away!
Have you ever thought how trees serve us? They add beauty to the landscaping of our properties while also gracing majestic mountaintops. They give us timber for construction – they also help to purify our air quality to help us breathe. Trees provide shade and shelter to comfort us from the hot sun – and yet are also used as fuel for cooking, and give us fruit to feed us. And on the coldest of days and nights their wood is used to bring life and warmth to us by the light of their fire. And some bark from Oak trees are dried and used in medical preparations, while their acorns feed the soil to enrich it. Even paper is made from trees so we are able to communicate and draw – and to read our books on printed pages – yes so many countless ways trees serve and sacrifice for us – way too many for me to list. And last but certainly not least – trees become a safe haven, a home, for the birds of the air and a safe habitat for many species of animals – where they have made their nests, and homes, to care for and to feed their young – keeping them safe during the storms.
So I have to ask myself…do I serve my Lord and Shepherd…willingly…with all that He has given to me – within my Family, and also, within the Family of God – and with those He has placed in my care? Do I serve Him with all my heart, soul, and mind – and with all of my strength? And do I provide a safe haven to those who are lost? Do I feed and nourish and genuinely love others with His love to help them walk? All I can say is… “Please let it be so…”
From my heart…
Genesis 1:9-13; Psalms 139:11-18; Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 15:4-7; 1 Peter 4:8-11