© 2017 Bill MurphySprouts

Nature will teach us, even preach to us, if only we’ll listen. Nature demonstrated a valuable lesson to me just the other day.

Recently we’ve had a very old and very large oak tree removed. It was in the early stages of death. The thing was so huge, so wide spread,  it was presenting a danger to our home – and the neighbors. It came down.

The problem was, the trunk was so great that it was next to impossible to simply haul it off in one piece. Instead, it was sawed into pieces, many of which still lay in the back yard. As I was mowing and weed-eating, I was amazed to see fresh, bright green GROWTH sprouting from not one, but several chunks of severed tree trunk! It was as if the old tree, now only in parts and pieces, was refusing to die! Instead, it was proclaiming that this is not the end!

How often have we come to a place in life when people, or life itself, takes a saw to us – chopping us up like just so much firewood – and tossing us aside to rot. Hear the anguish in the voice of the psalmist –

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow my soul and body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends –  those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten as though I were dead;  I have become like broken pottery. For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life. Psalm 31: 9-13 (NIV)

Take heart. Lift up your eyes. Learn a life-lesson from nature. Life – and those around you who buffet your life – may have made you stagger – and may have made you fall. Yes, you may be ‘down,’ but you do NOT have to be OUT! Those amazing, tender branches of new growth, were NOT connected to the ground – where they should be finding nourishment and water. No – they were growing from PIECES of the former tree, now cast onto the ground as just so much debris!

Take heart my friend. And take notice that the above scripture from Psalms does not end in despair! For the following verse, verse 14 says: “But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God.”

He said – “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 NIV.

Way to GROW my friend!




2 thoughts on “DOWN BUT NOT OUT

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