Before God made the sun, moon and stars, He made trees.
Before God made birds and fish, He made trees.
Before God made livestock, wild animals and people, He made trees.
Trees were the first living things on the newly created earth.
We can learn a lot from our elders.
PB and I have a small square of woods — ash trees, pines, oaks and maples. We love walking in the woods, especially on beautiful fall days. We have to stick to the path, though, because the woods haven’t had much attention for a long while. There are dead trees that have fallen over, there are broken branches that hang precariously, but mostly there is undergrowth — brambles and thickets and stickers and thorns. It’s hard to walk through it without getting scratched and poked.
PB decided to do something about this problem. He hired a guy with a big tree-eating machine to clean up our little square of woods. In a matter of hours, all the brush was gobbled up. The transformation was remarkable.
Early the next morning, a doe and her twin fawns came through, looking bewildered. PB and I watched from the porch as the fawns suddenly kicked up their heels in a morning sunrise dance. They seemed to celebrate the wide open space, running without fear of thorns and prickers. I almost went out there and joined them in their new-found freedom.
Not all growth is good growth.
The wild, thorny undergrowth crept in and we barely noticed. Then one day, we took a walk with a three year old and she was entangled in briars and thistles. It was no fun. There were tears. We couldn’t dance.
That’s when we knew it was time to clear away the undergrowth.
Lord, I haven’t given my spirit enough attention. There are dead areas that need to be hauled out. There is my old enemy, pride, dangling precariously overhead. And there is undergrowth — bristly words that poke and hurt. Send Your Spirit through my heart and mow down all “that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1)
It’s time to dance.