I leaned out the window as the truck was lurching along the narrow pathway and took a picture of this tree, not dreaming it would come out this strikingly clear. I learned some lessons from this tree.
Oh dear Lord may it be a picture of me!
1.Lord, this tree stands straight and tall, when all the other trees have been cut down so the field can be sown year after year with tapioca or corn. Lord, my desire is to be left standing throughout this crisis at end times – standing firmly on the truth of Your Word, no matter what goes on around me, and though I stand alone.
“Stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” 1Corinthians 16:13
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.” Ephesians 6:13
2.Lord, this tree is all alone.I too feel all alone much of the time. I am unable to travel to America this year, I have lost my Mother, and unable to talk much on the phone to my sister or my boys. I am the only American in these jungle mountains and not even able to be fluent in the Karen language, which distances me even more from human friendships and the companionship that I crave. But You are my all-and-all. Paul said:
“No man stood with me…Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.” 2Timothy 4:16,17
“We can never perfect a round, full Christian experience until every earthly support is removed, and the soul centers its entire affections about God.” MR 926.
Jesus said: “I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” John 16:32
3. Lord, this tree is dead.Year after year as I pass by it is the same dead tree silhouetted against the sky.
“There is a crucifixion that must go on in our lives, a constant dying to self and sin.” PCP 38.1
Paul said: “I die daily” 1Corinthians 15:31
“Self annihilation is a hard process, for self struggles for existence and dies hard. But prayer and faith place the weakest sinner on vantage ground, where the hand of faith can grasp firmly the hand of the Savior. In and through Christ we may come off more than conquerors.” 21 MR 406.3
“It is the daily dying to self in the little transactions of life that makes us overcomers. We should forget self in the desire to do good to others.” CCh 80.2