Do you have an old, beloved tree in your life? Today I visited my childhood home in North Dakota via Google Maps, looking at current images of our old house. The American Elm tree that we climbed, picnic’ed under, and pleaded to release our cats is gone! That beautiful tree should have lived at least 150 years.
This week we conclude our sermon series on The Trees of the Bible. Our scripture lessons speak of long-living trees, flourishing and producing fruit even into old age. Of course, those trees are metaphors for you and me.
What enables such “trees” to live so well? Being rooted in the Living Waters of God. Come drought, disease or human mishap, still such trees thrive. Indeed, adversity shows them at their best! While others wilt and die, trees nourished with Living Water survive and extend their roots even deeper.
Our church has witnessed some powerful examples of members who have come through times of disease. They have given me permission to share their names and gratitude to you: Lloyd Nattkemper, Kris Davenport and Cynthia Perry. They faced their illness already filled with Living Waters: lives of prayer, scripture study, and generous hearts. They had some tough weeks, we know, but these times were also their greatest moments. They drew deeply on God’s Living Water, stored in their souls. They not only survived; they grew spiritually stronger.
Church in the Forest is so blessed to count these members among our “trees.” Their faith inspires us to so grow!