Sunday, December 1, 2013

What Do You See?

What do you see ?   A dismal day, grey, overcast sky and a dead tree ?
Look again.

This morning I was sitting at the breakfast table gazing absent-mindedly out of the window at the above view.
The leaf-less tree suddenly focused my attention.
I noted how its branches at all pointing upward.
Pointing upward toward heaven ...  in worship to its Creator?

I thought of two of favourite verses about 'trees' ..
"Let the field be joyful and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord." 
Psa. 96:12 
"For you shall go out with joy. And be led out with peace. The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."  
Isa. 55:12 

But the photo above is not the picture that readily comes to mind when I read those verses.
Those beautiful verses paint a mind picture of  a perfect day, blue skies, sun drenched vibrant colour and nature bursting with the green of fresh growth, leaves dancing in a softly blowing breeze.

But ... maybe that picture is not as deeply inspiring or challenging as the above photo.

When our  'life' is dismal, dark, lifeless in all the things important to us , when we are stripped of  the leaves of earthly joys or security,  are the arms of our heart still uplifted in worship?   Do we still cling to the promises of God, knowing that He is good?

I  thought of how the branches of the tree had grown rigid in position.  Because they have never taken any position other than to lift their branches upward, no other position is possible, no matter what the season or the storm or the wind against them.
Are we so rooted in our faith, that our heart has become 'rigid'  in our worship and trust in God, unable to turn our face away from His?
Look at the contrast between the leaf-less tree and the ever-green cedar trees beside it.
Do you see the the cedar trees revealing uplifted branches?   That is not what draws your attention, is it.
All you see is the 'adornment' of their beauty.
Are we not the same ?  When life is good and everything is going our way ... what do people tend to see but the 'adornment' of our life?

 When is it that those watching us  have the best opportunity to see our 'branches'  uplifted in worship to our God ?    Is it not in the 'dry' seasons of our life ?   When people would expect us to be bowed down with worry and the weight of our burdens ?

When our adornments are stripped away what is left ?   An uplifted heart to God, refusing to let go of what is most important to us ?
May it be our faith/trust in a life-giving God who can most be trusted in the 'winter' seasons of our life because we know in whom we have believed .. and know that life and light will once again bring the glorious 'spring' ...    in our earthly life but especially in the eternal life to come !


Marg said...

Again, something that I would of not been my perspective of that dried tree. How beautiful to see you draw us unto worship especially in our dry times. Thanks Julie.

Betty said...

We need to see more of God's beauty and teachings in nature around us. Thank you Julie for helping me to see the 'good things' in the so called deadness of winter!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I'm singing your special verse from Isaiah now. What a great promise. Thanks for the post, Julie.

Anneliese said...

This is for me, Julie! Oh, that in the winter seasons of our life our branches reach up and our roots go down deep. I see trees like that out of my kitchen window...

Betty said...

When I look at our 'dead trees' I am reminded of your post, Julie. It is a good lesson.
I will choose to see the beauty around me even in the dismal times.