As I was driving one night, straightening curves and upset over something that I can’t recall right now, I almost met this tree head on. Needless to say, I took it a little easier after that curve and thought about what impact a crash like that might have on those in my life at the time.
In the tougher moments of my life, I have thought about that tree and what meeting it head on would be like. If I could go back there and my life would end, would those around me now be better off?
An enemy whispers, and we can believe his lies. A bridge to jump from, a tree for impact, or just flat out despairing of life and wanting to be Home rather than here. Wishing, No, even begging God to take me from this world of hurt, disappointment, and brokenness. A longing to be with Him in that perfect Home, rather than to stay behind and face whatever may come.
On a hill across the ocean, stands another tree. A tree that a man was hung upon. Not just an ordinary man, but One that came to change the world. An innocent man, convicted of blasphemy, sentenced to die by government authorities who were played like stringed instruments by religious elitists. A man whose life was summed up by this phrase: He died to save the world from sin. To Reverse the Curse, Rescue the souls of men, and to bring about an end to Death, Hell, and the grave.
In moments of weakness, that tree is still there. Reminding me of Mercy and Grace such as I have never known in this world. When thoughts of despair start to sink in, that tree reminds me of One who loved me so much that He died for broken people; who in broken moments, may think of ending it all. It reminds me of a Home unseen as of yet, but also of a Presence with me at all times, even the most difficult. It reminds me that when I am friendless, that there is a Faithful friend, who understands disappointment, betrayal, loneliness, and even sorrow. That the good things that we long for in this life—Love, Friendship, Community, Joy and Happiness will come, maybe even in smaller moments and even shorter periods of time.
The tree that calls my name, reminds me that with each new season, every new chapter, the tree will be there for me to cling to. The tree reminds me that “earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.” It reminds me that when I feel like I cannot travel any further on this journey, that a Savior carried a cross of wood all the way to the top of that hill. It reminds me that when I feel a great wall of separation, a Son felt the disconnection of relationship from His Father.
The tree that calls my name is the One that my Blessed Savior died upon. My sin, my shame, my hurt, my pain, my loneliness, my depression, my despair, my guilt, my Cross. Every thought, internal conversation and bargaining, self-righteousness, respectable sins, self-deprecation, and self-depreciation, have been nailed to that tree. The tree that calls my name…