(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
Some people enter your life during your Autumn or Fall season. They’ve never seen you in full bloom before, although you have had much better days. They see you losing stuff, just like a tree loses its leaves and it is truly a spectacle to behold. Some even meet you during a point in that season, when everything is already gone and like a tree with no leaves, your life appears to be barren, dry and hopeless.
Now a person looking on at such a tree and only during that season, may not understand all that it went through before. It definitely saw better days but in this particular season because that is the way that the God of the Universe has designed it and willed it to be, it must be broken.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 states that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”, yet to the average person looking on in just that season, that tree may be considered to be of no use and of no relevance to the future.
Who’s going to benefit from it? What does it have to offer? It stands there so depressed, seemingly wilted and dejected. After all, it has no fruit visible on its dry branches! It is just there, empty, bereft and alone, taking up precious space in the world.
To someone who does not know better, it may even be considered feasible to cut that eye sore down and have it removed quickly because clearly, it no longer has any reason to be left standing. It may have seen better days, yes but look at it now. Not even the birds are able to find a place of warm comfort in that sterility.
Then, to the amazement of those who stay long enough to take a closer look, when one thought that that tree could not look any more hopeless, the situation grows from bad to worse! Winter comes and that tree feels the brunt of it in its bones. It is cold, it is empty, it seems sad and it is forgotten.
Yet, what those looking on do not understand is that they just happened to enter at a certain part in that tree’s story. The empty branches which seemingly characterize the tree’s existence today are not the full summation of it or of its value. The empty, cold branches, barely visible underneath all of that snow are not indications that the tree has no further use or purpose but exactly the opposite!
If that tree could talk, it would bellow loudly from its forlorn branches to all those who have written it off as dead and good for nothing. It would say: “IT’S JUST A SEASON!”
You entered during the lowest season or seasons of that tree’s existence but that Autumn and Winter experience are just one or two of the experiences that that tree will have. How dare you condemn it to futility and barrenness, not based on God’s plan and purpose but based only on what YOU have seen, in a particular season!
What you saw was just one season or maybe you stuck around to see two but that was not the end of that tree’s story! The dry, leafless season, followed by a very cold Winter were not experiences that defined the core of that tree’s existence.
Ladies and gentlemen, that tree is worth so much more!
If you stick around long enough to see how it all plays out, you will begin to understand. If you wait patiently, you will see, that as bad as it looks, that tree is not dying. It is merely going through a process that is necessary before it can be rejuvenated.
If you observe long enough, you will see the season change and leaves and flowers begin to spring up and bloom… again!
Then, after a much welcomed Spring is past and it is Summer again, that tree will be so unrecognizable to you, that you will not be able to tell that it was the same tree you scoffed at and dismissed as dead and useless. For, against the backdrop of the sunniness which characterizes that season, that tree will stand bold, beautifully arrayed in all its God-given radiance and glory.
This is what an Article I read online about trees during the Winter season, had to say:
- “The dormant season is a restful time for trees to conserve energy and prepare for spring. Trees are just slowing down during this time. But with bare branches and limited activity, a dormant tree can look eerily like a dead tree.”
This holds true as well for God’s children. What looks eerily like a dead tree in the life of a person during one season in her life, may very well be a preparation for spring!
Things may look dormant in that person’s life and even stagnant and people may prematurely conclude that nothing good is ever going to happen but who can tell? God may very well be about to change her season!
This analogy with a tree and the life of a Christian, reminds me of my own experience. I have had many people give me up for dead because of the Autumn and then Winter seasons of adversity God has seen it fit to allow me to go through in succession. Yet, just like a tree during Autumn or Winter, my faith in Jesus bellows to those who fear the worst: “IT IS JUST A SEASON!”
In fact, on 29th June, 2018, due to me feeling as if, on account of my circumstances, I had already been discarded by some as hopeless, insignificant and dead, I wrote the following:
- Yeah. You don’t need to tell me. I know you think I’m nothing much, that I can’t do anything significant and will most likely not ever amount to anything much. I see it in how you look at me, what you say to me, how you treat me and how you ignore me. YET, I KNOW that in Christ, I am something special, I can do all things, I shall do great exploits and I am more than a conqueror because it is HE that strengthens me. It is HE that upholds me with the right hand of HIS righteousness.
- What that means dear friend, is that your expectations, whether based on judgment, condemnation or presumption, will be defeated, in Jesus’ name.
- The Lord did not create me to be a failure and I am not the summation of how little you may think of me nor I’m I limited in my God-given gifts, talents and operations, by how insignificant or ordinary you may erroneously perceive me to be. My purpose is not to impress you or any human being for that matter. I was created to bring glory to God. I am asking him therefore to take my focus away from your fixating, judgmental and critical gaze and to place it squarely back on HIM.
- He has seen it fit to love me and to invest a great deal in me. He was doing this for years before I even met some of you. Your misconceptions will therefore not ever be more mighty than the good work he has begun in me. He will SURELY complete it through Christ Jesus.
- You can look at me funny all you want. You can cast up your nose, frown in disapproval or consider me as not being good enough for your established circle. YET, I continue to trust that what the Lord has purposed for my life, WILL come to pass, no matter who thinks to the contrary or prematurely dismisses me.”
In conclusion, I will say simply, that for some, what others go through during a season or two may seem like a HOPELESS END but really, as time progresses, they may come to realize that it was really the beginning of an ENDLESS HOPE.
(Written on 30th June, 2018)
Even of a tree that has been cut down, Job stated in Job 14:7-9:
- “For there is HOPE of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground: YET THROUGH THE SCENT OF WATER IT WILL BUD, and bring forth boughs like a plant.”
Though life has at times cut me down, Jesus is my HOPE. For, He is THE resurrection and THE life (John 11:25). He is my fount and the well of water to which I continually resort and surely, by his grace alone, through the scent of the water that he provides, I will bud again. I will bring forth boughs like a plant. Therefore with joy shall I draw WATER OUT OF THE WELLS OF SALVATION. (Isaiah 12:3).
Jesus declared in John 4:14: “…whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the WATER that I shall give him shall be in him a WELL OF WATER springing up into everlasting life.”
In John 7:37-38, it reads “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow RIVERS OF LIVING WATER.”
In Revelation 21:6, Jesus testified of himself “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of THE FOUNTAIN OF THE WATER OF LIFE freely.”
Isaiah 44:3 declares of him “For I will pour WATER upon him that is thirsty, and FLOODS upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.”
In Jeremiah 2:13, when God’s people abandoned him, the source of life and THE living water, he stated through his Prophet “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me THE FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”
Conversely, Isaiah 58:11 states of the person that rightly applies himself or herself to the things that please God “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a WATERED GARDEN, and like a SPRING OF WATER, whose waters fail not.”
Finally, in Revelation 22:1 and 17, John, in speaking of what was revealed to him of God’s glory, stated:
- “And he shewed me a pure river of WATER OF LIFE, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb…And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the WATER OF LIFE freely.”
(Addendum written on 01st April, 2021)
Dear Reader, if you found this Article useful, edifying or interesting, then you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 106 – ‘They Can Think Whatever They Like – God Will Do Whatever He Pleases’
- Note 123 – ‘God Calls Me Hephzibah’
- Note 124 – ‘It Is Well!’
- Note 125 – ‘When God Promises To Write-on A Write-off’
- Note 126 – ‘A Hopeless End Or An Endless Hope?’
- Note 127 – ‘Left For Dead…Then Resurrected’
- Note 147 – ‘From Bad…To Worse…To Deliverance’
- Note 145 – ‘Our Difficulty Is God’s Opportunity’
- Note 146 – ‘Death Must Come Before The Resurrection’