To Forgive Permits Healing

I have an oak tree in my yard, well actually, it’s in my flower bed just inches away from my neighbor’s chain-link fence. Not an ideal location for a tree. Given it was over six feet tall when I finally made a decision, I couldn’t just pull it up like a dandelion. I figured cutting it down would kill it and I’d be done with it. After all, that’s what happens with the maple seedlings each spring.

What I didn’t realize at the time, is there’s a difference between those maple seedlings and this oak tree. The maple seedlings have very small roots and are easily pulled up, however this oak tree had a very long tap root.

That tap root gives this tree life, even though there’s no leaves or trunk above ground. Every year I find new shoots growing from that old stump. I thought I was done with the oak when I cut it down, but no, this oak still lives! Argh!

Despite all the damage I’ve inflicted on this tree it continues to grow, repair the damage and live. Right now you may feel like that oak – cut right down to the ground – but guess what? You still have a tap root. A root deep in God and his word. Just as roots produce life in a tree, God gives life and growth to you. Your tree will have a different shape than planned, just like my oak tree. It used to have a straight trunk, but now has bushy shoots. Be like the oak stump!

Trees grow their entire life. They recover from losses, and keep growing. Life circumstances have changed and roots in God hold us firm in our faith. God gives us strength to endure and stand strong in whatever comes our way. Our roots in Christ allow us to soak up the richness of God’s forgiveness so we are able to grow and extend that grace to others.

Celebrate and rejoice in life, growth and roots in God. God will direct new growth for your life. Be like a tree, and live. Keep growing roots. Keep moving forward. Keep living.

Jeremiah 17:8; He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.

Ezekiel 17:6; its roots remained where it stood. So it became a vine, and brought forth branches and put forth foliage.

Ezekiel 31:7; It was beautiful in its greatness in the length of its branches; for its roots went down to abundant waters.

Action Step: Draw a horizontal line down the middle of a blank 8 ½ x 11 inch piece of paper. The line represents ground level. Above the line draw your life tree, below the line draw your root system. When you are finished pray over the drawing and ask God for growth this year. Add new growth to your drawing when appropriate.

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