The Cauliflower Tree

September 11, 2001
by Lynne Phipps

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV)

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)

It had been a hot sunny day, and we had spent most of the afternoon at the town pool. As we meandered home, stopping to chat with a neighbour here and there, or pet one of the many dogs behind their fences, Mary spotted the tree. Tall and heavy-laden, decked out magnificently with tightly packed creamy blossoms, it stood in a neighbour's yard. "Look, mom, a cauliflower tree!" was the excited exclamation. "A cauliflower tree?" I thought. But, sure enough, it really could have passed for one. I chuckled to myself as I explained to her that cauliflowers grew closer to the ground, and were much bigger than these. I pointed out that indeed it was a tree, but the cauliflowers were really blossoms which would later be replaced by berries. In fact, the tree was a mountain ash, but to Mary, who had never seen a cauliflower growing, it appeared to be the real thing.

Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 6:14 NIV)

As Mary's mother, I was able to explain her mistake to her, just as God our Father desires to converse and lead us in the way of truth and life through His words as found in Scripture. Often, I have shut Him out of my life, determined that I could handle things myself, only to discover my own foolishness. It would be absurd for Mary to think at age three that she knew how to run her own life. How absurd it must seem to God when we announce the same intentions to Him, for it is only His wisdom and love which are able to point out to us the correct path for life and eternity.

In today's society, many no longer believe God's word or accept it for what it is: divine revelation. They rely upon other paths to lead them to happiness here on this earth and hopefully in the hereafter. How sad it would be to reach the end of the journey, only to discover a cauliflower tree.

Prayer: Father God, bless this world with a spirit of faith not only to believe in You but to believe You — to believe the Scriptures as the divine revelation they are. Bless this world with a hunger and thirst for Your word and truth, that as few as possible should discover a cauliflower tree at the end of this life's journey. In Jesus' name we ask these things. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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