This past Saturday, God reminded me of a picture that a woman in our church gave me during my first year of University. I was having a rough time…feeling like I was never going to get out of a “trough” and wishing I could be on top of a “peak”.
The picture was of a tree, in each of the four seasons of the year – throughout the year, there were obvious changes to the tree…the leaves grew and flourished then turned yellow, red, brown, and finally fell..leaving the tree bare for the winter.
The lady who gave me this image spoke about how the tree changes throughout the year, dependent on the season and the conditions – but it doesn’t rely on its’ own strength to do these things. The tree is designed by God, and God has orchestrated the seasons through the creation of the Universe. It’s warm in the summer, because He made it so. It’s cold in the winter, because He made it so. The tree flourishes in the spring because the warmer weather helps it develop new buds…but it needs to shed the leaves in the autumn so that it can refertilise the ground around it and grow stronger in the next year.
I was reminded of this picture whilst sitting and talking with my friend Debbie, who sweetly gave up her essay-writing time to talk with me. As we talked, about the recent ups and downs (mostly downs) in my life, God reminded me of the picture and through that reassured me of the hope that I have in Him.
In Ecclesiastes 3 (v1) it says: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
Recently, I feel like I’m in an endless winter…completely stripped back with no hope of a change. I know this isn’t true, though, which is an amazing blessing. I cannot imagine being in this place without the sure and certain hope of Jesus. This is my season of waiting on Him, trusting in Him, learning more about Him.
He is moulding me, and changing me. He is allowing me to face these challenges, because the ultimate victory is already won, and He wants to sharpen me to make me the best version of myself – so that I glorify Him. Any change in me will be through Him, and for Him.
So yes. I am a tree. I am a tree in winter, and oh how I cannot wait for the spring!
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1: 1-3, New International Version)