Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 7 - Understanding the Tree of Life

“For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:8 (NKJV)

Recently, my son asked why it’s important to read the Bible everyday; and I tried, with steadfast determination, to explain all the reasons.  But, his eyes glazed over after the first two and I completely lost him after the third.  So, I reverted back to the tried and true… the over-used, and often abused, analogy.  The abstract and unfamiliar are sometimes difficult to understand, and for that reason, I find myself using ample amounts of analogies to explain the Gospel to our kids.  And at this particular moment, the Holy Spirit placed upon my heart a comparison that truly represents the power and beauty of the Gospel in our lives when we remain in His Word.

I told my son to envision himself as a tree… a young sapling.  We then went through all the things needed for this little seedling to become a thriving tree, a guardian of the forest: water, soil, sun, protection from the severest of elements.  Then we started to draw parallels to our walk with Jesus.  I tried to explain to him that just like the young sapling, we as Christians also require essential elements for our growth in Jesus.  I started drawing a mental picture for him: As we spend time reading His Word, praying to our Father, serving “the least of these,” we begin to grow.  Like the flourishing tree as it towers over the earth, there is…in us… an outward change as we walk with Jesus.  People will notice that we are different from this world.  But of equal importance… or maybe it’s even of greater importance… is what goes on underneath the surface.  For the tree, a strong and substantial root system is developed.  These roots provide nutrients for life, a support system to ground the tree when the fiercest winds blow.  They provide an anchor and bring it life.  This is what the Word does for us… to us… through us. 

When we immerse ourselves in the Word everyday, we are becoming that tree.  Our roots burrow themselves into the deepest of soils; becoming replenished with words that will enrich our souls.  As torrential storms blow into our lives, His Word will provide safe refuge; it will not only allow us to weather the storm… it will prepare us to overcome it.  However, we must be ever mindful and vigilant in our pursuit of the Lord.  It is far to tempting to flourish for a season, and then attempt to stand on our own two feet.  But, when we do this… when we refuse to draw close to Him; to seek His guidance and visit His Word on a daily basis… our roots quickly begin to wither.  Always hold to the truth that if we remain in Him, He will remain in us. (John 15:4)      

Commit to being in The Word…everyday…for the remainder of the 30 days.  Whether it’s a chapter a day from your favorite book in the New Testament or time spent meditating in Proverbs.  Even if it’s simply reading a few lines before you go to sleep.  Whatever step seems right to you… take it.  If you’re doing this challenge as a family, I’d suggest going through Proverbs.  Simply spend time reading small sections of the Scriptures and then discuss it as a family.   

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