Friday, November 12, 2010

The Story Of The Tree 3-05-10

When I was a young man I heard a story of a man who was told by God to go into the forest and preach to a particular tree everyday for 30 consecutive days. This story interested me because it is another stupid request by God. I am familiar with why does God ask a man to preach to a tree? If you want me to practice my oratory skills why not in front of a mirror, or a group of people where valuable critique could surface? What value could there possibly be with a dumb tree? Sure it is a test to see if I will trust you but a silly trust. The man was confronted with this silly test of trust and went faithfully to that tree and shared the gospel. At first the silliness got the better of him and his word were very anemic. But after a few days he thought if God wants that tree to know the gospel then I will do my best and that tree will be the best informed tree in the forest. I have had this kind of resolve overtake me in the midst of silly exercises. Also the children of Israel were brought to a silly tree. At Marah a pool of water in the midst of a desert journey was easily the center of their hope for survival. But as Marah declares the water was bitter, undrinkable, and no hope at all. These people who had the great miracles of deliverance under their belt of experience had no room or expectations for this kind of disappointment. What kind of God would lead them to such a death as this to die dehydrated in the desert. It must have been a silly God to their imaginations. And their complaining rung of this idea. But God was more silly than they could imagine. He was not going to continue to escalate His miracle performances like a climatic actor, now He wanted to be known. He wanted to be trusted. He pointed Moses to a silly tree and said throw that branch into His water. How is bitter water made sweet by a stick? Could you imagine that? Nor could I. An angel coming down with vials of cure landing upon the waters must have been more to their expectations. Then there was another tree formed into a cross. The silliest tree ever imagined. How does the king of kings save a lost world by hanging on that tree? Yet Jesus did not think it silly and was eager to risk to that occasion. As we know now, no tree turned out to be silly and trusting God always proved fruitful. Unbeknownst to our tree preacher was a broken hearted man who had given up on society and was dwelling in the forest just beyond that tree. On the 30th day he revealed himself and wanted to know Christ. His life and heart were redeemed. Why didn’t God tell our preacher there is a man living in the forest I want you to preach to but he will not stay if you reveal knowledge of Him so I want you to pretend to be preaching to that tree? Would he have not been all the more eager with joy to go? Yes, but God’s way produced the fruit of trust in both men and revelation that caused it to remain. God’s ways may be silly at first thought but trust will reveal otherwise.

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