When was the last time you plopped yourself down under a tree? Yeah, that’s what I thought…tough to remember…
My most fun recollection of sitting under a tree was when I was helplessly star struck, head-over-heels-in-love with John, who would later become my sweet husband. Back in our dating days at UK, we used to sit under a weeping willow.
Fast forward many moons, and envision Hubster pulling in the driveway, with something green and willowy hanging off the back of a pick-up truck. Much to my surprise, he’d purchased a lovely, tall-but-skinny weeping willow!
Now, only a couple of years later, our weeping willow occupies a good part of our circle out front. Our little bench nearby is a sweet spot to sit when we take the time to do so. It’s not only grown up, but out as well, waving to us every day, grace overflowing.
Last week I shared a bit from Susie Davis’ most intriguing book, Unafraid: Trusting God in an Unsafe World. I’ve now finished it and am stunned over occurrences in Susie’s life which led her from being terribly fearful, to becoming confident and completely trustworthy of God.
You will not believe how God orchestrated various events in Susie’s life, always leaving “love letters” to her like we talked about last week. (Click on SLIVER OF HEAVEN: COFFEE ON THE PORCH…..for more details.) As you progress thru’ the book, Susie shares some of her most fearful days.
To learn the “back story” and see where God was all along is breathtaking. (I mustn’t spoil the story…you’ll have to read it find out!) You might say Our Heavenly Father was stitching in parallel fashion, Susie’s tapestry, which seemed awful and ugly to her, yet later became beautiful and miraculous.
One of my favorite parts of the book is a thought I’d not considered before about trees. As long as Susie can remember, her Dad has enjoyed planting trees, many times growing saplings from acorns.
He watered them and waited, nurturing them until months later, he brought a tiny sapling over to Susie’s house. While Susie’s children watched, her Father planted a bur oak. He taught her, “Trees make the best preachers.”
Susie says, “Trees are the conduits for some of the biggest messages God has ever spoken to me.”
She adds, “Our bur oak tree reminds me of my Dad’s funny obsession with trees….it’s a physical representation of my Father’s love and care for my extended family. But mainly I love that tree because I love my Dad. I am overwhelmed at how he’s loved me, cared for me, and encouraged me all my life.”
“Just like my Heavenly Father. He’s planted trees all over just for me. To show his love, his care, his encouragement. I see God because of those trees.”
Susie reminds us from Genesis 2:15, “The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.” She points out,
“We’re still supposed to be tend-ers.
We tend hope and courage God plants inside our souls…
When we read what He says to us.
When we listen to the Spirit.
When we hold fast to the good news.”
Dear friends, I hear her saying, “HOLD ON to Him for dear life!” This puts the responsibility in our court, to cultivate, grow, and tend to our faith and hope… ultimately clinging to our Savior.
Susie says, “It means when you see a big ol’ tree, its leafy canopy reaching toward the heavens, you remember that tree was once a small seed.” So it is with our faith….
Isaiah 61:3b says, “We are strong and graceful oaks for His glory.” (NLT)
Savor this noteworthy summary:
“When God makes a promise, YOU CAN COUNT ON HIM TO KEEP IT.
When He says you will see goodness in the land of the living, BELIEVE IT.
When He says He is a strong protector and completely trustworthy in every situation (Psalm 62:7-8 NET), YOU CAN COUNT ON IT.”
Effectively addressing fear and control issues, Susie gifts us readers with this:
“I don’t know what kind of hopelessness you face because of fear, but I know God has a promise for YOU, and because of that, YOU CAN LIVE UNAFRAID IN AN UNSAFE WORLD.”
If you want to grow your trust, and your faith, and witness Susie’s incredible testimony, this book is for you.
Now go find a tree, park yourself under it, glory in Him and His creation and REST!
‘Til next time!