The Old Marsh Tree

Just off the Calabash River on the side of a grassy knoll near the marsh stands an old leafless tree spreading its bare branches outward like an oblong pitchfork.

It’s a beautiful sight with the background of the tranquil marsh, but one can only imagine the floods, rains, and the cold air the old tree has withstood over time — and now sitting there bare and exposed.

At some time, the old tree will succumb to the earth, which is what we all will do.

Life is like the old tree: there’s a moment of birth, growth, sheltering and feeding others, and then a return to earth. Which all seems so futile.

The Biblical suffering man Job also noted life’s futility in comparison with an old tree:

At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil.Yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. But man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more.

Job 14: 7-11

Poor Job was at a very low point in his life suffering for God, but he did eventually keep hope in God.

Consider this God of hope as the psalmist does in Psalms 146: 5-8.

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord, his God; Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that therein is; who keepeth truth forever; Who executeth justice for the oppressed; who giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners; The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind; the Lord raiseth those who are bowed down; the Lord loveth the righteous (Psalms 146: 5-8).

Without God, there would be futility and no purpose.

The old tree had a purpose to prevent soil erosion and shelter marsh life — just as we have purpose – to witness for God’s presence and glory on earth as it is in heaven.

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