“She is a tree of life to those who embrace her.” Proverbs 3:18
In 1730, 294 men and 69 women of the Bishnois branch of Hinduism died while trying to protect trees in their village from being cut and milled into building materials for a palace. They literally clung to the trees while being slaughtered by the foresters. Fast forward to the 1970’s, when a group of peasant women in the Himalayan hills of northern India threw their arms around trees designated to be cut. Within a few years this tactic had spread to other parts of the globe including the United States. Despite its noble history of nonviolent resistance, “tree-hugger” is often considered a derogatory term in most circles.
The writer of Proverbs personifies wisdom as a woman and likens her to a “tree of life” that is to be embraced (Proverbs 3:18). We’re reminded in verse 13 that the man, or woman, who finds wisdom is blessed, also translated happy. With wisdom comes understanding. Wisdom is more profitable than silver and brings a better return than gold. Having wisdom is a top priority. 1 Corinthians 1:24 csb tells us, “Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger that human strength.” When you find Jesus, you find the source of all wisdom. In Him is God’s wisdom and power. Until, through faith, you find a relationship with Jesus, life won’t really make sense. This is the path to long life, which in the New Testament, is eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlastingl life.” John 3:16. Here you’ll find the tree of life…the Cross, embrace it!
Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand.” Psalm 17:7
“How are you today?” “Better than I deserve” goes the exchange. It’s true, we are better than we deserve. As sinners we deserve death and hell, but because of God’s amazing grace we don’t get what we deserve, we get mercy. We get eternal life with Jesus instead. That is the wonder of His great love.
Psalm 17 continues in verse 8, “Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings.” To be the apple of one’s eye is to be the thing most treasured. David recognized that God’s children are His treasure. Think about that—You are treasured by God, the maker of heaven and earth, and what He treasures He blesses and forgives. His blessings and forgiveness are always much more than we could ever begin to deserve.
When problems, struggles, and hardships come into our lives we may not feel very blessed. Maybe you can’t see the blessings for the fog and smoke of the battle. Rest assured, whatever struggle, difficulties or suffering you may be facing today you can count on God’s never-ending love for you. In His great love, He died for you. In His lavish love, He is generous to all; those who serve Him for decades as well as those who accept Him with their final breath. In His faithful love, He never leaves you nor forsakes you. It’s all grace, all undeserved, and all the result of a great, amazing, lavish, never-ending, faithful love.
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus made a way for you and me to be forgiven, allowing us to enjoy the wonders of His great love throughout eternity.
Rest Even in Chaos
“My soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.” Psalm 62:5
If you are anything like me, chaos visits you on a regular basis. It can take untold forms and shapes; lost keys when you’re already running late; mornings when everyone in the house is going in different directions; tense times of family drama, yours or someone else’s. You know. We’ve all experienced it.
Chaos is defined as utter confusion and utter confusion causes stress to our minds and bodies, bad stress. God is a God of order not confusion. He created us to need rest. If we don’t rest voluntarily our bodies will force the issue and we will find ourselves on our backs. The Lord set an example for us by choosing refreshed, rejuvenated. Take a deep breath in the midst of the chaos, whisper a quick prayer. You will be amazed at the difference something so simple can make.
Psalm 62:5 is true, hope comes from the Lord, we can find rest in Him. Jesus purchased true rest for us through His crucifixion and resurrection…rest from the burden of sin and death and from the shame that goes with it. Trust Him. He will give you rest even in chaos.
Susan Sims Meyer
Thoughts and paintings from my personal quiet time and Bible study