The trunk seemed perfectly placed as my eyes scanned the composition laid out before me. I sat down on the fallen leaves and broken twigs as my back gladly found the sturdy tree behind me, offering support and a bit of comfort as I leaned back and soaked in the scene I had now become a part of.
The wind was consistent, tossing my hair around as if I were back in west Texas, walking around the streets of Abilene on any typical day. It was a cool breeze with a bite of chill at the end, but the sun shining down amongst the bare branches of a forest still waiting for spring gave enough warmth for the day and I wasn’t about to hide in the shade.
So I sat and waited.
I had no idea what was about to happen, what I was supposed to learn or hear or see. I let my eyes drift back and forth across the forest, up and down the tall trees swaying with ease at the slightest breath of the wind. I studied the fallen trunks and bits of dead grass and let my eyes float with the dead leaves gliding across the earth floor. I smiled at each green blade bursting forth from the ground and searched high and low for small buds full of unreached potential.
And when I took it all in and let it sit and sink, I heard Him speak.
“Every thing here is subject to my voice. Trees move when I move. Things are broken off so that new things may grow. Something is always changing because my winds are winds of change. At times it’s quiet. At times it’s not, but there is movement.
Forward movement even in death; even in breaking.
Growth happens, however so unnoticeable. The trees, plants, flowers and animals, they don’t wait for me to tell them to grow. They simply do until I say otherwise. They walk until I say stop and they allow me to move. Their lives are subject to me. They realize the process of life and they don’t hinder my ways. They allow themselves to be broken, to die, to face cold winters, to feel ugly; they go through seasons of desolation because it still reflects my glory and my goodness.
But I haven’t called you to live in desolation and death. Suffer you may, but it is only to move you forward.”
While I sat there and continued to take in all that was going on around and within me, I began to realize that I was listening to life and death happen. With each touch of the wind everything moved; branches fell, trees danced and life happened.
Even the tallest trees were being broken so growth could happen.
And as I raised my eyes to watch the towering strength of wood and bark twirl at the slightest touch of the air, I began to realize how much we could relate to them.
Those trees were us; continually growing in the Lord and in our faith. Standing taller and stronger with each passing season, with each moment of brokenness and taste of death, through each cold winter and beautiful color of spring we grow and learn and know Him all the more.
The more mature we get, the easier it is to feel His breath and know His touch; the easier it is to dance with Him and move to a rhythm all His own. It is with each specific and necessary season that we grow, each moment of desolation and each point of brokenness lead us forward into life.