“What is going on with our trees?” I asked the Lord after a recent storm. Violent winds had shaken the beautiful big tree in our back yard. Several large branches had broken off and fallen to the ground. This was the third storm this year. We were getting a little tired of cleaning up after our trees.
We had also decided to hire someone to cut down two old trees which stood pretty close to the house. After an ice storm this past winter that left our back yard looking like a war zone we didn’t want to take any risks of these older trees falling onto the house.
I learned a lot from the tree guys who did the work. One of them who had training in how to trim trees properly showed me how broken branches can leave a “wound” on a tree. Those jagged edges allow water to enter which can cause the tree to rot from the inside. He said it was important to cut a branch right so that the tree can form a protective ring around the “wound” allowing it heal itself. The tree compartmentalizes the wounded area with a special type of calloused wood, like a scar, which keeps out bacteria and helps the rest of the tree recover.
The tree guy pointed out several branches to me. He told me where to look. As I did I could see that these branches were dead even though they still had leaves and looked healthy to the undiscerning eye. Storms have a way of revealing which branches are dead. They are the first to break.
I love trees and God has often used trees to speak to me (see my last post). As I pondered at all this I saw so many analogies to our lives. Like the dead branches – I don’t want to be a dead branch not able to survive the next storm.
Just as wounded trees need proper care so we need someone to help us take care of our wounds, lest bitterness festers and causes more damage on the inside.
When the tree guy cut off several lower branches that looked vibrant and healthy, I asked him why he was cutting them off. He explained to me that they were sucker branches that took valuable sap away from the rest of the tree. By cutting them off the sap would be going to the higher branches that needed it.
This made me think of activities and other things that are time wasters – like those sucker branches. Maybe I need the Holy Spirit to cut out some of those things in my life so that the areas that need to be strengthened can get the proper nourishment.
One last thought. Since I became aware of all these “tree issues” I cannot go anywhere without seeing trees in need of care. It annoyed me until they Holy Spirit pointed out to me that seeing the trees in need was like seeing people in need of care. When we are awakened to the truth of how wonderful our heavenly Father is and how much he cares for our souls, we can no longer be blind to the hurts and needs around us. The world needs people who are trained and equipped to care for the wounded ones among us. First, we need to go to God to let Him heal our wounds, but then He also desires us to be healers. Let’s go do it!