To Be Like a Tree

source: 17674930@N07 via Flickr
source: 17674930@N07 via Flickr

“‘Which of the trees of Eden can be compared with you in splendor and majesty? Yet you, too, will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the earth below….'”
Ezekiel 31:18a (NIV)

Last night Wendy and I were visited by the landscaping folks who will soon be transforming our lot from something that currently looks like the barren lunar surface to something resembling a real lawn. As part of the discussion we discussed planting some trees in specific locations and I listened as our landscapers discussed the personality quirks of different varieties of trees.

I have readily admitted over the years that I have a brown thumb and the plant kingdom, from house plants to trees, is a huge mystery to me. I have tremendous respect and admiration for those who have a passion for such things, and I was intrigued by the way our landscaping friends discussed the trees as if they had human personality traits.

In a moment of synchronicity, I read this morning’s chapter. God through Ezekiel uses trees as a prophetic metaphor. Once again, the word picture places the object of the prophecy, Egypt’s Pharaoh, as a tree in the paradise of Eden. The tree, however, is felled from its exalted status to “the realm of the dead.”

This morning I’m thinking about the time and circumstances required for trees to grow from sapling to full height. By contrast, it only takes a moment for it to fall to the ground when felled. Throughout God’s Message we are encouraged to “guard our hearts.” Like trees, it takes time and perseverance to grow in spiritual maturity. Yet, one foolish mistake can be a chainsaw in our lives.

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