Friday, December 23, 2016

Learning Contentment from a Tree

Learning Contentment from a Tree
I have to say that I greatly marvel at the wonder of God we call a tree. There are countless insights wonderful in the design and function of these plants we see every day. But in our busy and mired modern lives there is a particular insight that has brought great blessing to me. The Creator gave this same profound message to the shepherd David. He wrote this inspired insight about those engaged to godly living in the first Psalm.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. (Psalm 1:3 NLT)

Trees do not have feet, they have roots. So while a quality gardener can uproot a tree and relocate it, the process is traumatic. The first seasons after the transplant see a significant reduction in the fruitfulness of the tree. It takes a couple of seasons for the roots to expand so that they can absorb the nutrients needed to support a fruitful harvest. So trees that live long and fruitful lives have two things in common: they are planted in a good location and they stay there for a long while. In a word trees are content. They spend their entire lives without ever knowing what is around the corner. They see the deer run past, feel the wind blow through, and only improve their view by increasing the height and breadth of their present makeup.

People do not have roots, they have feet. In spite of this fact, past generations tended to be more like trees than we are today. In those days families in transition were described as settlers. They usually only moved around when something traumatic forced them to do so. As soon as they found a suitable place they settled with the intent of never moving again. Modern people have forgotten that a happy and fulfilling life is grown not found. We are too busy climbing the ladder, moving on to better opportunities, and broadening our horizon to let our roots expand and find the nutrients in the soil where we are.

So what is God teaching us with the trees we see every day? Uprooting our lives is sometimes necessary but always traumatic. A fruitful and fulfilling existence is not found elsewhere but by growing deeper where we are planted. If God has placed you where you are, then find faithful contentment there. God always plants his children along the river where we can find what we need to grow tall and strong. If your life is not a fruitful one then you have one of two problems: either you are not planted along the river or you are not allowing your roots to dig into the soil where God has planted you. Jeremy Higle

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