Trees are my friends. At the age of sixteen, I hugged my first tree on a lonely night when I didn’t feel loved. Boy-loved. I walked out to the backyard and needed some comfort from someone. The tree seemed willing.
If you love trees and don’t know why exactly, I found an answer today that may give some insight for you. You see, God has used trees to teach us some of our most important lessons.

The first tree we come upon in the Bible is the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. We all know how that story went. Author Tosca Lee wrote an evocative, sensual description of that scene in Havah: The Story of Eve. I highly recommend her book.

What’s a tree got to do with it?

First of all, to paraphrase Tina Turner, what’s a tree got to do with it? While I like trees and all, what’s that got to do with hope?
I found hope in, of all places, a chant from a Good Friday service.

tree photo

“For when Adam first offended,
Eating that forbidden fruit,
not all hopes of glory ended
With the serpent at the root:
Broken nature would be mended
By a second tree and shoot.”
When you feel low and out-of-sorts, your brain  doesn’t work too well.  As a result, you forget some things.  it’s important to remember that Jesus outwitted the tempter. The devil’s the one trying to convince you that you’re all alone. One word from you will break that lie:

Your Feelings of Rejection

When we hear the words above and below from the chant of Good Friday’s Catholic prayer service, they speak to us in our rejection. We all know the feeling.  Your  feeling.
Your head drops as your  heart aches in that down-and-out dark time. You feel down because the world rejects you. The devil wants you to forget the closeness of Jesus in that moment. How He came to earth to experience rejection, to surrender when He held all the power in the world to stop those who wanted Him dead. To have His best friend deny Him and another betray Him. We know how that feels.

The Jesus Prayer

Pray the Jesus Prayer.  Read more about this twelve-word prayer here.  You will find unbridled spiritual power in this Scripture-based prayer.

Your Purpose: Hope

Did Jesus trade places with any one of the soldiers assailing Him? Did He put one of them on the whipping post or cross instead of Him? No.
That did not fulfill His purpose. That would not show obedience to His Father. Jesus did not use His power because that would not teach us The Way. Maybe we might have wanted to do something like that if we were in His place, or at least thought it. But not Him.
I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. John 14:6
“So he came, the long-expected,
Not in glory, not to reign;
Only born to be rejected,
Choosing hunger, toil and pain,
Till the scaffold was erected
And the Pashal Lamb was slain.”

So while it may feel counter-intuitive, always claim your joy. tree trunk

First of is, claiming your joy will confuse your enemies. I love that.
Jesus placed His joy in you at the price of His death. An eternal gift. Open it.

Your Gift: Joy

 Jesus shared what He knew with us “…so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11 NAB
 Always thank your trees. And Jesus. And hope.
For other posts to encourage you, click here and here.
Thank you for spending a few moments with me. May you rest in the fullness of God’s peace.