Come! Take a walk with me. I have some trees in a garden I’d like to show you. No, not the tree. I wish! Wouldn’t it be fun to sit in the shade of the Tree of Life? But, that will have to wait for another day.
The trees I want to show you are coming up here on the right. They have lessons for us to learn. Tell me what do you first notice?
That’s right. No tree is the same. Each is uniquely beautiful and bears it’s own distinct fruit. At the same time, no tree is bigger or brighter than the next.
And yes, the hues of green are amazing – rich with life. If we were to build a home in this garden, we would witness how these trees are green year round and consistently bearing their fruit. Though they do have dormant seasons and pruning seasons, they regularly bear fruit consistent with their nature.
How do you suppose these trees got here?
You might be surprised to learn they were transplanted. They did not begin here. While some began in deep, ancient forests, others began in scorching, waterless deserts, and others began in a harsh, frozen tundra. It doesn’t matter where they were originally planted, all had to be transplanted. No tree can blame their beginnings and neither will they find sufficient nourishment from sucking the juice from the roots of their forefathers. No, every single tree here had to be dug up by the roots and planted anew.
Tell me what you observe about the streams they are planted next to?
Correct. They are small irrigation ditches. They don’t require a mighty thrilling river in order to bear abundant fruit. Just daily intake in sufficient amounts of water.
Take a closer look at those streams. Scoop a handful of the water and examine it closely. What do you see?
Words. Yes. Words of life. Years ago those words were recorded for an ancient people to learn about the life-giving Creator. They called it The Law. In more recent times, those words became pictures – pictures of a God/Man – the WORD – who provided a human visual, completing The Law.
Look down the stream over there. You see that little cluster of trees all huddled together, bent low over the water as if they are struggling to suck up every drop from the stream?
They think they have to work their absolute hardest to soak in the water. But look how such exaggerated effort has distorted, crippled, and over-watered them. All they really need is a normal daily drink.
Walk with me now. I want to take you to the edge of the garden. Look over there across the chasm at those trees. Now listen closely. What do you hear?
Yes, that’s mocking. Those trees have chosen to transplant themselves near poisonous waters. Oh they weren’t fooled – they knew full well that water was not good. They knew the trees in that garden were brown, thin, and flaky before they burrowed their roots into that soil. The bitter water they drink has morphed their perspective. They think their life is so good, they make fun of the green trees in this garden.
You see, all trees have choices as to where they want to live. In fact, they don’t have to move at all from their original planting. But if they stay where they feel comfortable, their leaves will easily wither and their fruit will be sporadic and tasteless. Those who chose to transplant themselves next to God’s life-giving streams will prosper. Only here can they produce the abundant fruit as the Master Gardner intended.
©Cheri Johnson August 2016