Tag Archives: trees

Sunshine

We moved into our cottage almost ten years ago. We added on some rooms and enlarged some. The renovations were planned by an architect. Although we have a large French window and a smaller window facing north, our lounge always seemed dark. We have a magnificent paperbark tree outside which gives beautiful shade in summer and we always thought that was the reason our house seemed dark. We had two sky lights put in and that helped a bit. However the lounge light stayed on during the day while I was home.

The house next door had five tall conifers growing against our north boundary wall. When the house was sold, I made a point of informing our new neighbours that I would love the trees cut down and we would pay half. Well, they had other things to attend to and repair and I didn’t want to nag them but I talked to the Lord about them. I even talked to the trees! (I remembered what Jesus had said about mountains throwing themselves into the sea.)

While we were away last week, the trees got taken out. The neighbours are doing some renovations and building on to make room for their parents to stay with them.

The difference is amazing. Sun streams into the lounge almost all day. We no longer need the light on in the daytime. I am just wallowing in the sunshine.

John said about Jesus, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5NIV)

Sometimes we miss out on the light of God in our lives through circumstances that are beyond our control. They are the things that cast shadows on the abundant life that Christ promised. They are like those five trees, seemingly invincible. They could be an early family tragedy, an unhappy childhood, a disability we were born with, or even poverty. We are totally powerless to remove them. They are not in our garden.

God is not powerless. We can do what we can to improve the light in our lives but then we need to call on Him to take away the trees. It won’t be easy and it won’t be immediate. But our God is faithful.

Jesus promised, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” May we not become so used to living in the shadow that we miss out on the Light of Life.

My Prayer

Lord, please open my eyes to the things with which I have been living, that are casting shadows over my life. May they be rooted up and cast aside. May the Light of Your Life and Your Love bathe me every day. Amen.

Gurgles and Claps

This post is part of JusJoJan. The word for today is “gurgle.” It is a lovely word. It makes me think of a stream chuckling to itself – especially since we went to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens last week and I enjoyed again the burbling river and the roaring waterfall.

I’m not particularly good at descriptive writing, but I do enjoy reading it. I’m listening to an audibook by Laura Ingalls Wilder and I find her descriptions delightful.

The bible is shot through with compelling imagery. Below are some examples I enjoy.

You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12 NLT)

I love the image of trees lifting up their branches and clapping their leaves together.

The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters. the voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. (Psalm 29:3-9 NIV)

Somehow those words evoke an emotional response in me.

I think it is necessary to read scripture with my heart as well as my intellect.

Please share some other imaginative scriptures that have been meaningful to you.

My Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for the power of words and for the talented wordsmiths You have created. Thank you for my imagination and that You can speak to me not only in words but also in pictures and emotions. Amen.

Lockdown Day 31 Trees

My son-in-law decided to take down a branch of the acacia tree that was dying and could be a danger if it fell. There was a lot of sawing and even drilling but the final phase was the breaking by pulling the branch using a rope.

We all realised that trees are bigger and stronger and heavier than we give them credit for. Having got the branch down, the next problem was to move it out of the way to the perimeter wall. That took almost an hour with the whole family working together.

Psalm 92:12-14 NIV

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.

God has declared us righteous.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:21)

Let no one underestimate a cedar planted in the house of the LORD. Let no one underestimate us.

Leafless trees

My gym is in a small shopping centre in Boskruin. Besides the gym, there is a maths/science tutoring centre, a nail salon, a karate supplies shop, recently a little coffee shop and pharmacy. These form one side of a square around a little children’s playground and some concrete tables and benches.

The tutoring centre allows me a quiet space and a desk where I write for three hours after gym. Halfway through, I take a break and sit on one of the concrete benches in the shade with my instant cappuccino. That is, I did until last week.

Last Monday I saw that somebody had cut the trees, removing almost all the branches and taking away any shade over the benches.

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Now I can’t sit there anymore. It’s just too hot in the searing South African sunshine. Instead I have to drink my cappuccino at the desk which is not the same at all. I realised the importance of shade, of shadow.

This morning I read Psalm 91.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (1).

What a beautiful picture this invokes of resting in God’s shade.

The Psalm ends just as encouragingly.

Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him, I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (14-16)

I would much rather choose the shade of God’s love and protection than the harsh, unfeeling forces of the world around me.