So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I wrote this story three years ago, but it’s still one of my favorites, and I wanted to share it with you today:
One day last week I realized it was getting close to Christmas and we still did not have a tree. I thought Bobby could run get one after dinner, but he ended up not feeling well, skipped dinner and opted for bed. I decided I could go get a tree and off Chase and I went. We didn’t want to spend much money, so we headed to Publix first, but there were no trees there. We decided to give Home Depot a try. As we pulled in, we saw that the tree lot was dark and empty.
Chase and I looked at each other and we were both disappointed. I suggested we get out and look around to see it there were any trees elsewhere. As we walked around the corner of the lot, there was a fellow in the back digging through a pile of discarded trees, looking for greenery.
He saw our disappointment and explained that all the trees were gone, except this pile of trash trees that were going to be thrown away. He reached down and pulled out a tree and asked us if we wanted it. Chase really wanted a tree and it was getting late and I was tired and I didn’t really feel like looking elsewhere, so I said, “Sure. We’ll take it home, stick it in some water and see what happens, If it still looks ratty tomorrow, we’ll go get another one.”
So home we went with our little throwaway tree. But it really wasn’t that little. It filled the entire back of my truck, making it at least 6 feet tall. When we got home, we woke Bobby up and asked him to help us with our tree. The poor guy wasn’t feeling well at all, but he saw our excitement and so he got up and trimmed off the bottom of the tree and put it into the tree stand. Then we filled the stand with sugar water and said, “Well, let’s see what happens.”
It was pretty ratty tatty … it had been lying in that discarded pile a while, I think. But we were hoping a little TLC might bring it back to life.
And you know what? It did! Yep, we got up the next day and went downstairs and that tree was green again and the branches had started to fall down into place and it really wasn’t bad looking at all. Just one little bare spot near the top.
And Bobby got home and he trimmed up the branches and carried it upstairs and put lights on it and the boys filled the branches with decorations. And we have a nice Christmas tree!
Did you ever feel like that tree? A throwaway person? Discarded by life? Discarded by others? I had reached a point in my life at one time where I didn’t really care if I lived or died. In fact, I had planned on actually killing myself, the life I lived just didn’t hold any attraction for me. Drugs and alcohol and guilt and shame were a vicious cycle, and I was tired of the treadmill and ready to call it quits.
But God had other plans for me. He picked me up out of that pile, watered me with His Word, and trimmed off all my dead limbs. And then let His light shine through all the brokenness.
When I look at our little Christmas tree today, there is no sign of that battered, discarded throwaway tree. I see a tree decorated with love. And when I look at my life, I don’t see a throwaway person, but rather a child of the King, fueled by His love!
Father, I know there are so many hurting people, feeling lost and discarded by the trials of life. Lord Jesus, I ask you to wrap them up in your love and bring peace to them in the midst of their challenges and Lord, let them know that You love them and that You hold the key to life, for them. And Father, thank you for not allowing me to stay in that place of abandonment and pain, but rather to be filled to the overflow, with your love and your peace.
I Love You Jesus.
In Your Name I Pray,
God Bless You!
The Choices You Make Today…
Will Affect Your Tomorrow.