He stopped looked at me and said, “Melissa, they are beautiful. They are beautiful to me because I know all they can be, all they will be. I see what is happening inside each branch. Now that they are bare they can produce new leaves. They are just waiting for spring.”
I thought about that as I drove to work and passed many bare trees. It occurred to me that perhaps they are most beautiful when they are bare, because it’s only then that they can produce something new.
God really opened my eyes to the trees this fall. The colors absolutely amazed me. My Creator thought up each and every color.
I noticed how as the leaves began to fall off some of the trees held onto the leaves longer then others. Even though those leaves had lost all their color and there was no beauty in the leaves, it was as if the tree was afraid a being completely bare. As if they thought, “If I can keep this one leaf maybe I will still be beautiful or I can at least trick the world into thinking I am still beautiful.”
But we know eventually the tree must give up each and every leaf, it has no choice.
We on the other hand do have a choice whether we give up our lives (our leaves) to God or not. We don’t have to. Many of us hold on to addictions and habits and even people who are unhealthy for us because we think we are fooling the world into thinking we know what we are doing. The truth is the only one we are fooling is ourselves.
It isn’t until we become totally bare and let go of all the stuff we think is so important, but actually only will destroy us, that we can become anything better.
In truth the stuff we hold on to makes us ugly not better and everyone around begins to wonder why we haven’t let go of the one thing that is deforming what could be something absolutely beautiful.
When winter comes and the trees lose everything it is then and only then, that the snow can fall. It’s then that the trees are prepared for the snow to cover them.
The day after my first walk with the Lord it snowed and all the trees that were brown and bare the day before were now covered in a blanket of white. They stood tall and stately, they looked stronger than they did the day before. It’s like they were preparing for this moment.
The snow clung to each and every branch and made the tree once again beautiful in my sight, but the tree had been beautiful to God the entire time. With or without snow God loved the tree and saw all it could be.
I believe the tree represents all of us. Each and every human being. We each need to become bare before the Lord.
We don’t want to, might fight it, we think we won’t be beautiful, we won’t fit in with the world anymore, we hold on to old and ugly leaves thinking it will cover up our insecurities but they won’t, they only hinder the snow.
As long as we hold onto those dyeing ugly leaves the snow cannot come. The snow of course is the sacrificial blood of Jesus, who washed us white as snow.
Only when we come to him bare can He wash us white as snow. When we say, “Lord, I have nothing, nothing of beauty to offer you, only my arms out stretched to you.” That’s when He sends the snow and covers us with grace, love and mercy. We are then beautiful in our eyes, covered in His love.
After the snow comes spring and we begin to produce gifts in our lives and the lives of others.
The whole time He always knew what you could become, a tree, full of green leaves, giving shade to those how are thirsty, rest to those who need a place to lean. He always knew. But He waited until we were ready.
Yes, winter will come again and you may lay before the Lord bare once more, but that”s okay, He knows all you can be, let Him come and cover you and wash you white as snow once again, let His grace, love and mercy cling to you again.
Even though the world may look at you and not see any good in you, even though you may look at yourself and not find any good in you, your Lord Jesus whispers, “You are beautiful, because I know all you can be and I love you so.”
I will plant trees in the barren desert (NLT) Isaiah 41:19
What kind of tree are you right now? Are you holding on to old, dead leaves? Are you bare before the Lord? Are you covered in His snow? Or are you in the spring, bursting forth with new life? Wherever you are, be honest with yourself, God already knows. If you would like to share in the comments I would love to pray for you or rejoice with you.