The tree of life
Published 11:00 pm Friday, December 2, 2022
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I am a professional arborist and have learned so much about nature. One of my customers told me that the Bible uses trees to tell stories about God’s truth. While I grew up in Sunday school, I never heard this talked about, other than the story of Zacchaeus. Where’s a good place to start to learn more along this line? — T.R.
Dear T.R.: It is no accident that the Bible speaks of trees, even urging us to grow spiritual roots that are deep and strong. God placed the Tree of Life in the garden of Eden in the beginning of time, but other trees grow from a small seed. Spiritual life also begins with a seed — the seed of God’s Word planted in the soil of our souls that eventually sprouts and becomes a new seedling when we are born again [come to know Christ].
We are not meant to remain spiritual seedlings, weak and vulnerable to every temptation, doubt, falsehood, or fear. God’s will is for us to grow strong in our faith and become mature, grounded in the truth of His Word and firmly committed to doing His will (1 Peter 2:2).
When we give our life to Christ, we are taking the essential first step — but it is only the first step. God’s will is for us to become spiritually mature, growing stronger in our relationship to Christ and our service for Him. Conversion is the work of an instant; spiritual maturity is the work of a lifetime.
Word studies from the Bible will teach us many things about ourselves, others and most certainly the Lord Jesus [trees are mentioned approximately 300 times in Scripture]. “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season” (Psalm 1:3).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)