No Ordinary Trees

I don’t know about you, but time and again, I’m amazed by how one can take great photos from an iPhone! In my day, great photographs came from a traditional, expensive camera and there were people called photographers who took those photos. The rest of us attempted great shots but were often disappointed by blurry, oops, our finger in front of the lens, not great at all pictures. But these days, technology is so advanced that our devices can capture our lives with precision and clarity that is beyond our expectations. Additionally, free online classes that teach how to shoot these eye-catching photos with the iPhone give us skill at our fingertips.

One day as I was listening to an iPhone photography video, the instructor taught me how to frame a photo. There was one tree in a field that was his focus. When he talked about framing the picture, he said, “ It’s just an ordinary tree.” He was setting me up to show me how he could make an “ordinary tree” look spectacular. Instead, he sent my mind thinking, “ there are no ordinary trees!” As a lover of trees, I thought of the times a tree initiated my worship of its Creator. Trees are amazing as most things in creation, but trees have a presence and display God’s glory and what they offer to humankind, and the animal kingdom is magnificent.

Some trees are stunning in their form whether my amazement comes from their stately form or their spindly or gnarly details. Others are dead, yet still, display a hollow, docile beauty of their own, and others are floral or bear fruit, and fragrance wafts from their verdant form. Still, others are puny, unpruned, out of control and fruitless. Whatever the tree’s condition, trees are incredible. There are no ordinary trees.

I think this is what our Creator God thinks because He uses trees throughout His holy Word to make points and underscore principles. There was one tree from which our Savior hung so that all who believe would be forgiven and gain eternal life. If you’ve not paid attention to the trees nearest you lately, perhaps these verses will bring awareness to the fact that there are no ordinary trees.

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. Genesis 1:11

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Psalm 96:12

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.”  Luke 6:43

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and those who win souls are wise. Proverbs 11:30

Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” I Kings 19:5

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:3

Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and he was unable due to the crowd, because he was short in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree in order to see Him, because He was about to pass through that way. Luke 19:3&4

The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious. Isaiah 60:13

Then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Leviticus 26:4

His shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like the Lebanon. Hosea 14:6

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on the a cross. Acts 5:30

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.

Joyce Kilmer

©Valerie Rumfelt

Morning by Morning

Getting to see two sunrises recently has only solidified in my mind the benefit and blessing of being an early riser—each one called to mind an eloquent passage from God’s Word, Psalm 8.
Psalm 8

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants You have ordained praise because of Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them? You made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of Your hands; You put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

“The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, pain and hunger.” Ralph Waldo Emerson