Daily D – Luke 6:43-45
Luke 6:43-45 “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (NLT)
Leviticus 23:40 “On the first day gather branches from magnificent trees—palm fronds, boughs from leafy trees, and willows that grow by the streams. Then celebrate with joy before the Lord your God for seven days.” (NLT)
The big game is coming up Sunday. Back in the early 1970s, the running back for the Dallas Cowboys was asked his thoughts about playing in the Ultimate Game. He responded, “If it’s the ultimate game, why do they play it again next year?”
A few years later, a reporter asked a question intended to reveal something deep and meaningful about a particular player. He asked, “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” I’m pretty sure he never got to attend another big game media day.
At the risk of never getting to ask you another deep and meaningful question, “What kind of tree are you today?”
Some days, we are mighty oaks. Others, we are weeping willows. Each has a kind of strength. Its strength also declares its limitations. One is resolute when the wind blows—the other trembles with the slightest breeze. However, mighty winds lay oaks aside. Willows lose only leaves.
How is the wind blowing in your life today?
Tears are not an indication of a lack of strength or resolution. They are an acknowledgment of loss. Obstinate oaks never rise again once they have fallen. Willows resolutely recover and spread their limbs and life ever more broadly.
You probably also know the medicinal properties of willow bark. If not, check out this article: [https://bit.ly/3I7s1lp]
I began highlighting in blue a few years ago Bible texts referencing walking with God. This includes words like journey and steps. Last year, I began highlighting in green Bible texts referencing trees and flourishing.
My college sophomore English professor gave us a writing assignment. She told us what not to write. She included a reference to the beloved and bemoaned poem by Joyce Kilmer that begins,
“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.” [https://bit.ly/3RJG5on]
You already know what happened. Three of us in that class wrote about trees.
Let’s ponder the questions from above again.
* What kind of tree are you today?
* How is the wind blowing in your life today?
Do you need to take a strong stand today? Or do you need to weep? Each is good. Each is permissible. Which is appropriate for you right now?
Every day is a big game. Every day is ultimate. We will live these moments and hours only one time. Stand strong. Live flexibly. Provide healing.
I will stand strong, and I will weep depending on which is most appropriate for the moment.
Our Father, give me strength to stand. Give me strength to weep. Give me laughter and tears in abundance, for this is how we measure meaning and relationship. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.