Revelation 22:2, “…The tree of life was on each side of the river. It produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of all the nations.”
Trees can be magnificent to look at. I love walking or driving and looking at the many different trees in bloom. I especially enjoy the perfectly symmetrical ones when nothing has been cut away. I enjoy driving down the dirt roads when the trees form a tunnel over me welcoming me down their path. I also love the trees in the spring when they are blooming, and the pink or white buds fill the branches. In the winter when the leaves are gone it's a wonder how all the branches actually grow into each other and when snow or ice lay on the branches it's pretty in its own way. Trees also amaze me with how tall they can grow, mighty and strong. Most trees are very durable and have so many years of growing from being tiny saplings to mighty heights. I have yet to visit the Sequoia trees in California, but I have heard of, and have seen photos of their grandeur.
I also enjoy the meaning of being rooted in Jesus like trees. When a tree becomes a tall grand tree, we know it's been there many years. When the leaves turn lush and green, we know it has some good roots. A tree becomes grand, tall, and lush because its roots go very deep in the ground and have spread out in many directions. Being firmly planted in the ground, most storms that come its way will barely harmed the tree. In fact, it takes a very strong force of nature to uproot most trees. This always reminds me of the verse, “Like a tree planted by the water, it won't move when strife comes.” When we plant our roots deep in Jesus we too shall not be moved when strife comes- Jeremiah 17:8, Psalm 1:3.
Aside from all that, there are benefits to trees too. They clean our air, filter our water, and even slow storm surge and flooding in our cities. Trees provide shade and cool cities by up to 10 degrees. These are just a few benefits of trees, but did you also know trees can be used for healing?
Writer Marion Bond West once wrote about a time in her life when she was going through some struggles with her children, her husband and life in general. She felt herself not connecting with her children and began doubting her role as wife and mother.
One day she decided to go for a walk. Driving to the woods she began to walk a trail, the only sounds, her footsteps and the nearby stream. In the distance she saw lone black walnut tree. Sitting down at the base, as a slight wind blew, she began to reflect on all that had been happening around her. While sitting there the wind blew a few leaves down off the tree. “How easily this tree let's those leaves go. If only I could let go as easily,” she thought to herself.
As West sat there, she found the wind had blown several smaller branches and twigs off the tree. Thinking of her husband she picked up the stick. She prayed God would take care of her husband and help them through the struggles they were facing and then tossed the stick into the water. Picking up a smaller stick she prayed for her teenage daughter she was fighting with and then threw the stick further into the water. One by one she released her children to the Lord in prayer and then gave the stick a toss.
Lastly, she picked up a stick and prayed for herself. She prayed for her worries and stresses. She prayed God would empty her worldly self and fill her heart with His light and love. She prayed for guidance in dealing with her family and the strength to get through it all. After her prayer she tossed the stick into the water and immediately felt free from her bondage of worry. There under the tree her healing began.
Revelation speaks of the healing tree as the tree of life. It will not be because we need healing but as a blessing in heaven and the new earth. The blessing that will no longer be in a world plagued by disorders and sickness. A world with no more war and strife. God will heal all that ails His creation and there will be no more curse- Revelation 22:3.
Everything will be blessed, and the tree of life represents that blessedness. There will be perfect sinlessness, perfect government, perfect service of God, perfect communion, and perfect glory.
While on earth we can find healing in the trees even if they help us just let go of our strife, like the leaves that fall. Let go and let God. But there are also a few spiritual lessons we can still learn.
1. Turn toward the light: Trees grow and flourish in light. Jesus says I am the light of the world. As a tree seeks light, seek Jesus.
2. Put down roots: The deeper the roots the stronger and healthier it really is. It flourishes from the nutrients in the ground. The more we grow our roots in Jesus the stronger we become to face life strife.
3. Think long term: Human life is short; a tree’s life is not. There are still trees from Moses’ time yet how many times do we make decisions based on short term gain? Trees remind us that life is much bigger than our present moment. We need to remember to look long term and Heavenward. What is our role for the generations to come and what foundation are we laying?
Today, go for a walk, find a tree and find healing, rest, maybe even some rejuvenation.
The Christian life is a battlefield. It is a constant war for our soul; good versus evil. We have to be prepared because; “we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against…..spiritual wickedness in high places.”-Ephesians 6:12. Satan and his demons attack us every day! Therefore, we must stay prayed up and armored up with the word of God, that we may be able to “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (verse 16).
How do we hide God’s word in our heart? How do we receive the power to easily resist the temptation of Satan? The answer is simple; by studying God’s word. We can only apply what we have learned and studied. God’s word is the greatest defense against the enemy.
Psalm 119:11 says: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Today we are going to continue to dig deeper in God's Word and learn what we can to apply the words to our lives and against the enemy. Let's begin our new study through 2 Timothy chapter 1
Study 1, 2 Timothy chapter 1- https://www.docdroid.net/8FvcGYG/study-1-docx
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