The landscape showed signs of drying out from the sun and was barren. Travelers stopped at midday, pitched their tents, and took a rest to preserve their strength and avoid dehydration when the water supply ran out. There was no rock where Moses nailed himself, made water gush out and become a well for the thirsty as in Exodus 17:6. One day, a frequent traveler crossing the landscape developed the idea of planting a tree to rest during his travels. It would be quite an achievement if it happened, he thought to himself.
In the dry landscape he planted many seeds like the sower in Matthew 13:1-9, who sowed many seeds. He was strong as an ox, and his hands were chapped and calloused. He dug deep into the earth, turning over the ground to find a moist, watery place, as stated in John 7:38 regarding quenching thirst. He buried the seeds where the wind, birds, or rabbits couldn’t dig them up for a tasty meal. Finally, a tree sprouted. He watched it grow and sustained its life by protecting it from the scorching sun.
The spiral roots of the tree dug deep into the hard, dry soil, thus establishing a strong foundation like that of a solid foundation spoken of in 2 Timothy 2:19. Eventually, its wide, blooming green leaves provided shelter from the sun for many souls. Some even claimed that the leaves were like many hats in one. Its branches grew strong and reached up like arms to the sky like worshipers in a religious service. It grew naturally in the landscape of nature and provided a place for travelers to rest, relax and recuperate like an oasis. It was a proud representative of other trees and plants seeking life where none existed before.
The gray, splintered bark he was clad in to protect his insides was like a tuxedo on a bride’s groom. Couples displayed puppy love in his presence by using sharp knives to carve the lovers’ hearts with their names in the middle of his trunk like Cupid shooting an arrow. In return, he breathed new life of love into her sparkling starry eyes as they bounded on their merry way.
Standing as a great symbol of strength, it was glorious in the sight of many from a distance like the oak of Bashan spoken of in Isaiah 2:13, Ezekiel 27:6, Amos 2:9, and other parts of the Bible. Some even held victory parties under their brow branches as a celebration of completing their journey. Many individual travelers came and, like others, used their resources and moved on. Droughts and raging storms even tried to sap his energy and vitality; however, it would not bend like some people would. It stood as a pillar of strength. Sorted by the dry, calloused and hardened hand of its planter, the old oak tree grew in a dry and barren landscape inviting travelers to rest during their tedious journey, just as the Lord says in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me all those of you who are weary and burdened and I will refresh you!”
(C) Joseph S. Spence, Sr.
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