I love to hunt! I love spending time outdoors, in a stand, in pursuit of the ever-elusive whitetail deer. But it’s more than just hunting to me. I use my time in the stand to reflect on life, to pray (for more than just a monster buck to cross my path), and to listen to what God has to say.
The other day, while hunting, I noticed a dead tree off to my left. My first thought was of my childhood days when I used to look for dead trees to push down while walking through the woods. I know this sounds funny, but I did spend most of my early life outdoors. I guess it made me feel strong to be able to push these once-alive, massive trees over. As the memories came back, I thought, “maybe I should push that tree down. . . just for ol’ times sake”.
As I looked at the tree, I noticed a spider web on it and holes in it that had been made by woodpeckers, squirrels, and other animals throughout the tree’s life. Though the tree was dead and most of its limbs had fallen, it was still serving a purpose. Then God spoke to me. . .
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV
“. . .His purpose.” God has a purpose for everyone and everything. Just like the trees in the forest, we too have a purpose. Trees purify the air, offer shade, shelter, food, camouflage, and for me. . a better vantage point for stalking whitetail. What do we as Christians have to offer?
I then thought about (1 Corinthians 12) where Paul talks about the body of Christ and how we all work together with different responsibilities to further the kingdom of God. In the forest, there are big trees, little trees, ones with acorns, etc. Though they differ, they all continue with one goal to grow closer to the sun. What if, as Christians, we all continued to grow closer to the Son?
Then it hit me. . . Many years ago, God placed a tree here. It grew and dropped seedlings that also began to grow. Through centuries, trees came and went, each serving its purpose until one day, this very tree came to be. It lived a life and passed on. Even in its death, the tree still served a purpose for birds and animals to live and grow. And if that tree falls today, it will have served it’s purpose of speaking to me about the importance of our purpose for the kingdom of God!
We all have a purpose. When we find it and continue to grow in it, we can be a shelter to others. We can help others. With our roots planted in God’s word, we can be that tree of life for others! Just like the trees, when we grow towards the S(o)n and fulfill our purpose, we can leave behind a legacy of love, even if it happens after we are long gone.
You Matter!! God has a purpose for you! Even if you never live to see it. I bet that tree didn’t know that one day it would speak God’s word into someone’s life. God’s purpose for that tree might have simply been for my good.
– “. . all things work together for good. . . according to His purpose”.
If God used an old, dead tree to speak to me, surely He can use you to speak into the life of someone else! Look for God in everything. You will find Him, and you will find your purpose!