By Barbara Gerber
There is a Golden book called The Giving Tree, written by Shel Silverstein that depicts a healthy tree that befriends a young boy. This young boy uses the tree for everything he needs till it is left only a stump. The final picture (from my memory) is a grown man sitting on the stump, still unsatisfied with all he’s had, and the tree still loves him.
The first time I encountered this book was when my children were young, and we were looking for a birthday present for a friend. We bought this book because it intrigued me. Yet it was a mystery to me. I was sad because the tree was reduced in stature; I was sad because the young man did not seem happy even after using up what seemed to be the life of the tree. I did not understand the story. Much later, I was considering the verse from John 15 that says: “I am the vine; you are the branches.”
My mind imagined that tree stump and I suddenly knew it was a picture of Life. Jesus, our tree had come to give true Life to this little boy – life that still, even cut down or used up, remained a root of potential that could spring up into Life once again at any moment.
The sadness I once felt in reading the story turned into the joy of knowing that our God is an everlasting source of Life, no matter what it looks like in the natural. His root comes from eternity which is above. In Isaiah 55 it says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
His root, his foundation is high in the heavens and it causes us to flourish below on the earth. We are the reflection of His Life above, ever becoming clearer as we get to know Him more. Our goal is to be a perfect reflection of Him. Roots up, roots down, spin, revolve all around. Joyfully embrace your ups and your downs, let Him be your loving surround. Hear his joy in your sound. Plant your feet in solid ground that spins downside up and upside down!
The image below is called Vines and Branches. It depicts flower girls rooted to a greater root. My friend noticed the new leaf in the center and told me you cannot grow a new branch from the center. That’s what we’ve been taught, but never underestimate what God will do!
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