In the winter months during the pandemic, my family would go on hikes in our neighborhood just to get out of the house for some cool fresh air. On one of our local trips we wandered into a section of the woods filled with easily hundreds of evergreen trees. I recall my older daughter asking how come it was, that this particular species stayed unaffected by the chill winter weather while many of its surrounding trees were either withered or withering away.
As is often the case, the questions from these young gifts of mine lead me to discover new insights and perspectives.
And so on I went to read up on evergreen species. One of my discoveries is worth sharing:
Many evergreen species have what look like little green needles. The needles are, in fact, the leaves of the evergreen and it separates them from broad-leafed plants. Unlike trees with wide leaves, they can tolerate cold temperatures. Evergreens’ needles allow the tree to continue taking in sunlight and nutrients during the colder seasons.
This lesson from the evergreen species resonated deeply with me. I could just overhear a conversation between a gal and an evergreen tree on a hot summer day. I imagined it would go something like this:
The gal to the tree “what are these little green needles you have? Why aren’t you broad-leafed like other trees in the forest?”
The tree to the gal “Come check me out in the winter, you will see why I am different - those broad leafed beauties will be withering and I will be flourishing."
In other words, you and I can learn these lessons from the evergreen:
What makes us look, sound or feel odd could very well be the parts most critical to our survival and ability to flourish in life.
To envy those around us, is to lack insight into the beauty and purpose that God has woven into our very fabric.
God, the masterful, all-knowing creator, makes no mistakes in the intricate ways He formed every bit of His creation.
Even better still, we can be encouraged by this verse from Jeremiah 17:7-8 [amp] - the female gender inclusion was mine; “Blessed [with spiritual security] is the [wo]man who believes and trusts in and relies on the Lord. And whose hope and confident expectation is the Lord. For [s]he will be [nourished] like a tree planted by the waters, that spreads out its roots by the river; And will not fear the heat when it comes; But its leaves will be green and moist. And it will not be anxious and concerned in a year of drought nor stop bearing fruit.”
The woman whose picture is beautifully painted in these 2 verses is a sweet reflection of the evergreen tree. The source of our evergreen-ness is God; and as we stay properly positioned in Him with our 'little green needles' of unshakeable faith, joyous expectation and total reliance - we are sure to endure.
So my prayer is that like the evergreen tree, and very much like the blessed woman described above, we will stay securely planted in God through times of great challenge and continue to benefit those in our spheres of influence with the godly juicy fruit of our lives.