It was planted the same year I arrived in Uganda, in 2010. A small sapling then, it has certainly become a more "adult" tree in the last seven years.
Every morning and multiple times a day I see this tree. It's in line of sight of my island front door. At times this tree has "grown" better than I have. The admonition of "bloom where you are planted" is familiar, but personally I don't take it enough to heart and see how should it be lived out in my day-to-day life.
But this tree grew right where it was planted. It has endured torrential rain and incredible thunderstorms, as well as incessant heat and humidity, and bugs - lots of the latter. It continues to stand tall, with its branches raised to the sky. Others (like those in the background) were planted at the same time, but they haven't grown as much as this one.
What if you were a tree instead of a human being? Would you be okay to remain where someone else decided you should be? Would you be fine when the rain and sun beat down on you, and you couldn't take cover? What about when pesky insects bothered you, how would you respond, when you can't even move your branches to brush them away?
God created some of His creation to be stationary and others to be more mobile. He could have easily given trees legs and let them move about as they wanted, instead He gave them roots to remain and go deep, and grow up and out.
|Once "barren," now full of life.|
When I arrived back on the island in January, this tree had lost all of its leaves and looked "naked" and somewhat dejected. But in a few short weeks, it has put on new leaves and even blossoms. Different varieties of birds are rejoicing again in the new "garments."
Unlike trees in my U.S. homes, some Ugandan trees put on leaves almost as soon as they lose the old. There are no months of hibernation and barrenness; life continues without interruption in an ebb and flow. We may assume a leaf-less tree is dead, but it is not. Life is there, but in the right time and season, it will be displayed for all to see.
Sadly, I can make the same assumption about myself or others. I don't see the leaves, the "evidence" of life or of God working, but He is and in the right time, that life will be seen and the glory will go back to Him.
I personally love trees and believe they are amazing, unique and beautiful. How many times are our memories connected to a tree or a particular one is known as a landmark, letting us know we are in a familiar place?
May I grow and flourish where He plants me, offer shade and protection to those in and beneath my branches, remain as a landmark to point others to the Creator, and believe there is always hope of new life because Jesus is both the Giver and Source of Life.
May God make me more like a tree.