Does Your Life Ever Seem Like a Barren Tree?

My calling looked like a tree in winter. Lifeless. Serene. Fruitless. Leaves-less. Barren. Looking like it would never amount to anything. Like its best days were over. I had no preaching opportunities. No inspiration to write. Nobody in particular to minister to. No word from others in ministry I had excitedly thought I would walk alongside at least for a season. So I thought of calling it quits, especially with my writing. Maybe I was done, I considered. I could take the tree that was my calling down with an ax, with one big sullen swing after another. Or else.

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Or else I could remember what happens to a tree after winter. And I could remind myself that God calls us not to walk according to what we see, feel, taste, think, or hear, but according to faith in Him and in what He says and desires, and in what His Word says and in what His will is for each of us individually. I knew then that my problem wasn’t that my calling looked like a tree in winter; my trouble was that I was staring at the seeming lifelessness of the tree that was my calling – instead of looking unto Him, seeking His face, trusting what He said, and having hope for the spring to come so long as I committed to do my best to walk in His ways. Spring would surely come. God would make something of my calling after all. He would bring it to life once more. He would use me to bear fruit. If only.

If only I persevered. For that is exactly what a tree does in winter, doesn’t it? It sticks around. It does not quit. It waits for spring. For new life. New growth. New leaves. New fruit. A new season. According to the ways of the Lord. For God created trees, and God created me. God gave me life, and He gave me my calling. And He created seasons in my life. Perhaps then winter is but a time of rest. Regaining steam for all the life to burst forth in spring. Isn’t this true for all of us? How many of us are ready to quit on the things and ways of the Lord because we feel stuck in winter? How many of us simply need to hold on to God, to hold onto His Word, and to hold on for the spring to come?

If you feel ready to quit on something or someone, perhaps even on yourself, or maybe on something God has called you to do, or on anything at all you believe is ordained by the Lord, turn your eyes and heart away from staring at the seeming barrenness of that which looks like a tree in winter. Turn your heart and life unto Him, hibernate in His Word and in intimate fellowship with Him, and endure. Yes, persevere. Wait for the Lord and all that He plans to do in you, and through you. Wait for the spring to come! 

2Co 5:7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 

Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

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