Life in a Dead Tree
By Sabrina McDonald
My husband, Robbie, likes to split wood … by hand … for fun. (That kind of “fun” goes beyond me.) So he keeps on the lookout for “good firewood.”
One day we stood facing a jagged tree on our property that suffered a lightning storm. He explained the process of cutting it down—pulling it the right direction, cutting the limbs. He marveled over how much firewood it would yield.
As he stood admiring the sky-brushing giant, he said, “There is so much life in a dead tree.”
His utterance struck me. Immediately, the wooden eyesore became a thriving haven of life.
I imagined the bugs as food for lizards which fed the birds that killed the snakes. I saw the rich decaying wood that had fallen on the ground, giving away necessary nutrients, even in its failing state.
That tree may seem dead to those looking from afar, but close up, life is bursting from its bark in every direction—from branches to roots and green sprouting shoots of new life.
That tree is not what it once was. It’s in a new phase, but its life isn’t over.
Marriage can feel like a dead tree sometimes. The blooms of new love fell long ago, and tragedy struck like lightning and mangled some of the branches.
If you’re there, don’t give up. There is still a lot of life left. There are those who find shelter in you, perhaps your children and grandchildren.
But the best news is that no matter how bad things seem, those roots run deep, and with some tender loving care from God’s graceful loving hands, new life can be found.
The Apostle Paul said, “And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
There is still a lot of life left in your marriage. Don’t lose hope: You’re more than “good firewood.”
The good stuff: Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (1 Peter 4:19)
Action points: Look for the ways God is using your marriage, even the hard parts, for the good of you and others around you. Pray. Ask God to bring new growth from the dead parts of your marriage. Consider finding a good Bible study to do together. Start one day this week.
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