Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Dying Tree

I have loved willow trees for as long as I can remember. Not sure if was since the introduction to Grandmother Willow from the Disney movie Pocahontas or those lazy mossy trees from pictures of the Louisiana Bayou's, but there seems to be something beckoning one to explore the world underneath the hanging branches.

That is why I was thrilled when we moved into our new home and found a Willow tree in our front yard. Just a baby one at that, but even more exciting was knowing when spring came, we'd have a place to hang out beneath the branches to find a cool place in the shade during the summer. In fact, my youngest daughter was already making plans to picnic underneath and spend time reading, or just doodling.

Well the spring came and soon the Willow began to really grow. Even though the high winds threatened to pull off all it's leaves and branches, it stood. It grew. Until this last week.

Very subtly the tree began to turn yellow. Just half of the tree. First I noticed it on a few lower hanging branches and then backing my car out of the garage I noticed that quite literally half of the tree looked yellow. It almost looked like two trees standing side by side. Not sure what was happening, I went to my computer and googled the symptoms.

Some said, the tree wasn't getting enough water. After the really hot heat waves we had been having, I thought that might have been the case. It literally seemed like someone was burning the leaves off the tree. The were dried out and crumbling.

More answers said, you might be overwatering it. Since we were already babying new grass that was coming in, we thought that might be the answer as well. But the lawn in places was dying as well. So that didn't seem like the likely cause.

The final two answers showed disease and borer insects like the Japanese beetle. In other words our tree was dying and it was letting us know. We immediately put a call into a local arborist but since it was late on Friday, we were told they could call us on Monday at the earliest. So we researched some more and discovered a remedy for disease and borer insects at our local home improvement store. One bucketful of this stuff was all it took to help heal the tree for the next 12 months. We should begin to see results in about a week or longer the label promised. So we applied the treatment and waited for the expert to show up.

He came by yesterday and said we did the right thing. It was a borer insect infestation that has been plaguing our tree for the last couple of years but the great news is that we caught it soon enough to save and heal our tree. We should see a completely different tree next year. We are excited.

Yet last night just before bed God showed me that my spiritual life lately is a whole lot like my Willow tree. It still has life inside, but it will die unless I spend some more time with God in each day. Lately I've been busy doing chores, errands and trying to manage a busy life with a traveling husband and all the responsibility has been falling on my shoulders. I've been trying too hard to manage it all on my own, while God is waiting to carry this load for me. I simply need to turn to Him and ask for help. I need to reestablish my relationship with Him again so that I can handle the little frustrations that come each day that tip the scales against me.

I have to remember it was never mine to handle alone. Life isn't meant to be dealt with alone. God stands waiting for us to simply turn to Him and ask for help. The symptoms are always there, we simply need to be observant enough to look at the type of fruit we are bearing. Are we impatient, tired, weak, angry, frustrated or confused? Sounds like you need some spiritual treatment much like my tree needed some. Otherwise the insects and disease of this world will eat away at you bit by bit until you bear these types of emotions in your life. Don't you want to be joyful, loving, kind, patient, in control, and at peace? Then perhaps it's time to spend some time with God and ask for Him to give you a complete spiritual overhaul before it's too late. Soon enough you'll be good as new much like my tree will be.

Galatians 5:22-23 ~ "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."


LV said...

Kat, what an interesting tree story. It certainly relates to life as well. You have more strength than you know. Dig down deeper and as you said and let the good Lord help carry some of your burdens. Take care my friend.

Sharon said...

I really liked this story - especially the happy ending!

And the spiritual application that you brought out was spot on perfect. Sometimes the *dying* is so subtle that we might miss the signs. But, without that daily influx of God's mighty Spirit, we will indeed dry up.

Thanks for this timely message - God must have been talking to both of us through trees this week. I posted something yesterday about roots of bitterness.

May He water us with His Living Water, shine His Son on us, fortify us against the *weeds* of life, and prune us when necessary so we can bear HIS fruit!


Jules said...

Thank you so much for this post. I too have been feeling the need to spend more time in the Word lately. I think we sometimes forget how important He really is when life happens. I am so glad you are able to save your tree! They are truly majestic.

Have a blessed day, evening and week!!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I like your analogy and I'm glad your tree is going to survive.