As The Tree Grows

March 22, 2002

Jeremiah 29:11-14 – "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord. (NIV)

Recently, I stood in a churchyard, looking up at an old and very tall pine tree. There it stood, a great living thing, probably older than I, strong, and with great branches reaching out to the sun. Then I noticed an incongruity: a telephone pole set almost parallel with the trunk and just a few feet from it, a dead tree, trimmed by man's hand, gaunt and lifeless. It ran up, almost touching one of the great branches reaching out from the heart of the tree. A smaller branch, growing from this limb of the tree had grown down and then around the telephone pole in order to reach the sun's light. Blocked in its normal path of growth, it had changed direction to find a new way to the sunlight!

How often do the troubles and temptations of this life seem to block our closeness to God, our searching for His life-giving light? How often are we hindered in our search for His strength? But God always has what we might call "Plan B". Even when we stray from the plan He has for our life, when we fail Him by doing our will, not His, He is ready with a substitute plan to help us get back on track. How blessed are we, in that He never gives up on us, but always has some way to help us get back on track.

Prayer: Father, we thank you that, when we are confused, when our path seems blocked by the disappointments of this life, when we take an unhappy detour from your way for us, you do not let go of our lives, but you guide us into new blessings as you guide our path, from here to eternity. Amen.

About the author:

Harold Moddle
(deceased)

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