My friend, J.D. Wininger asked the question, "Where do you look for God?" J.D. reminded me of a time when I saw God in many common place things. Here's an example.
On one Sunday after worship, the church showed a video promoting a bus trip to see the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The video showed Christmas trees. It wasn’t my fault those trees urged me to look at the large white pine outside the windows over the pulpit. Fall in the Catskills brings color everywhere. So what’s the big deal about the pine tree?
Everyone knows we call them evergreens. Deciduous trees like maples, oaks, and cottonwoods branches reach up in yearning, but an evergreens configuration points to God. They’re a constant reminder of where to turn when you have an issue. This week they are not all green. They have brown needles, primarily on the ends of the branches where new growth occurs. Like the broader leaves of the hardwoods, the pine needles also fall to make room for new growth.
The sermon spoke about the difference between being saved and doing works. The message came from Matthew 14 where Peter climbs out of the boat at Jesus’s word, “Come.” There was work involved in Peter’s faith, yet, while in the process of such work, he failed according to Jesus’ remark. “Oh ye of little faith, why did you doubt?” It seems Peter believed well enough, but even the strongest faith of the twelve (eleven others stayed in the boat!) failed to succeed.
When I saw the pine tree with its brown needles it reflected the failures in my life. But those failures were based upon what I did, in the past, with little faith. Every time those needles fall, creation for more room of productive needles occurs. The process always intends to get closer to Him.
Stop and take a look with me at those brown needles. Use them not as reminders of things past, but as harbingers of new opportunities to put your faith to work, always with Him in mind.