Friday, February 11, 2011

The Tree of Life

Every once in a while, I look around my home and I try to picture what it looked like the first time I saw it. When our realtor walked us through, thirty-year-old wallpaper hung in tattered strips. The ceilings boasted the once-popular “cottage cheese” look, and the carpet was threadbare.

Today, all of those things have been replaced. And sometimes I wonder what the original owners would think if they could walk through the house now: Would they like the new paint and carpet? Would they like the extra counter space in the remodeled kitchen? Would they even recognize the interior? So much has changed. Everything, really.

Probably the only thing they would recognize about this place is outside. The trees. Whoever lived here before knew something about trees. Quite a variety surrounds us.

The maple tree by the driveway looks as if someone once shaped it to create a perfectly balanced deciduous. And the birch copse in front of my living room window has provided hours of enjoyment with a cup of hot tea in my hands. Then there’s the honey locust tree. Its leafy umbrella shades the backyard with fortuitous insight. But my favorite tree of all is the towering ash tree in the far back corner. It’s massive. Someday we’ll put a tree house and a zip line in that thing.

Wallpaper peels, paint fades, and pipes leak.
But the trees remain, except they’re bigger and greener.

The reason I consider such things is the fact that the original owners raised their entire family in this house. Then, once they were “empty nesters,” they cashed out and moved out of state to be nearer their grandchildren. Now we are raising our family here. It’s the only home our youngest two children have ever known. But someday, they too will grow up and move on. What will remain then?

In every marriage, there must be a core – a foundation. For years, or even decades, we can busy ourselves with job responsibilities and school activities and church ministries. All good things. With time, however, even these things change. And change can be good, like fresh paint or new carpet. But that is why it’s so important for a marriage to have a strong foundation – something steadfast – something that won’t change with trends and time.

Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” The Word also tells us that Jesus hung on a tree so that “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).

While the d├ęcor in my home changes, the trees outside remind me of what is permanent. When Jesus is the center, a marriage can grow deep, binding roots. And no matter the changes a new season of life may bring, Jesus remains the same. From nests to empty nests, we will always need the Tree.

What do you and your spouse do to keep Jesus at the center of your marriage?



Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I am so thankful for the unchanging nature of my sweet Lord!

Great post, DJ (as always!)

Marsha Young said...

From nests to empty nests, we will always need the Tree. Wonderful!