The Tree of Life

Welcome to Real Life. Trees inspire me. They stand so bold and tall with branches lifted high in worship. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the Tree of Life. It’s found in the beginning of the Bible in Genesis.[1] It’s also mentioned at the end of Revelation. 

Trees are life-givers. The food I need to survive is provided by plants/trees. The fresh air I must breathe is produced by trees. Protection from the scorching sun and driving rain is found under the branches of a tree. I am housed in a tree (my home is constructed with wood). I sit on a tree (wooden chair). I eat on a tree (wooden table). I work on a tree (wooden desk). I write on a tree (paper). I cry into a tree (tissue). My soul is enriched by the beauty of trees: delicate dogwood blossoms, breathtaking autumn hues, towering Redwoods and so many more. 
My neighbor's oak tree

Trees are spiritual life-givers as well. While at my desk, I see a majestic oak out my window. It’s the grandest tree in the neighborhood. I am transported back in time to another day when I sat in this very spot. I was a young mom feeling fragile, overwhelmed and depressed. As I looked at the oak, God made me a promise.

You, Peggi, will be called an oak of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.[2]

At the time, I felt like a withered seedling. God imparted hope through the tree. He promised to grow me into a tall, healthy oak that would provide shelter and rest for others. He’s keeping his promise. The tree still inspires. And I still have a long way to grow.

The ultimate life-giving tree is the Tree of Life. It plays an important role in the new Jerusalem:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life,
as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and
of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.
On each side of the river stood the tree of life,
bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.
And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.[3]


Those last words “the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” leave a deep longing in my soul. The nations of our world: Syria, China, Egypt, Russia, Afghanistan, Israel, Greece, America … need healing. Nations are people. We – I need healing. It will come through the leaves of a tree.


I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.


A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day, 
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree. 

Trees by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) 

Take it further…
  • Do trees inspire you? 
  • Psalm 1 contains another promise using the image of a healthy tree.
  • Read an earlier blog on "The Uncommon Tree." 
[1] Genesis 2:9
[2] Based on Isaiah 61:3b
[3] Revelation 22:1-2

Comments

  1. Good morning Peggi
    Thank you for such an inspiring blog and ending it with that poem was a big encouragement for me this morning. Yes, I love trees and I memorized Psalm 1 by memory some years ago. That Psalm stands as a light for me and it has lead me through some very hard decisions.
    I really enjoyed your posting and wish you God's blessings in your writing. Be that tree that God has called you to be.
    Ciao,
    Patricia

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patricia. Your words blessed me more than you will know! I so appreciate your encouragement.

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  2. Beautiful, as always, Peggi. I love trees too. Sequoias are my favorite. My dad took up camping every summer to see the Sequoias and though I saw them every year, each time was like the first, so majestic and mighty. Thank you for another wonderful post.

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  3. Hi Linnea, thank you for commenting! I'm so glad you share my love of trees. I am envious of your camping trips with the Sequoias! :)

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  4. Peggi, I appreciate your thoughts on trees. It reminded me of the story I wrote about "Dad's Tree." It's posted on my FB notes page. I wrote it after Marlin's dad died. The tree will forever remind us of the strength of his dad.

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  5. Hi Flo, thanks for taking the time to read the blog and comment. I'm going to check out your tree story! :)

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