April 01, 2012

Seasons of the Tree

Psalm 1:3
"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn to not judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, twisted and empty of any value.

The second son said, No. It was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed, saying it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son took issue with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but one season in the tree's life.

He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are - and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life - can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

The moral of the story is that if you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall. Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.

In Psalm 30:5b, God promises, "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

Furthermore in Isaiah 61:3, there is more encouragement: "...to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."

Even though the Lord is speaking to the children of Israel, there's a Biblical principle that applies to Christians as well. To wit, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, in John 16:20 declares:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy."

What more comfort do you need than from Christ's own promise? I want to encourage someone out there today to not give up, to not despair and worry. Press forward toward the prize. The travail you're passing through will be nothing compared to the glory that awaits you in heaven if you faint not.

You might be thinking: But, what about right now? I need something now! All I can share with you is God's word. Paul pleaded, prayed and begged God to remove his thorn in the flesh. Let's read what happened next in II Corinthians 12:8-9,

"For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

And for the rest of you who like to point fingers and tsk-tsk at others' predictaments, beware! As Christ warns in Matthew 7:1-5 -

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

So,  let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not! (Gal. 6:9)

To find out more about Jesus Christ, click here: Jesus Christ, the Hope of Glory!

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