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Now, in my old age, don’t set me aside. Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing (Psalm71:9 - NLT).
Find a tree - any tree will do. If you tap into the tree there will be a slow, sure and steady supply of sap. The sap of the Maple and Birch tree can be used to make syrup. There are even some exotic varieties that have been used to make rubber. The tree uses sap for food.
The sap is most plentiful in spring and is radically diminished in winter. However, if you tap into the very center of the tree, sap may be hard to come by.
Consider the following story. There once was a new tree that grew from a seed in the ground. It was easily bent by the wind - deer came and ate a branch or two. The tree struggled to live and as winter set in, the sap became thick and sluggish within, the leaves fell and it seemed death had come to claim the little tree.
In time, the days began to warm. Life-giving sap wakened the sleeping tree. Buds formed and leaves covered the skeletal form of ‘The Struggler’. The very center of the tree began to notice he was not alone, a new and younger layer of tree growth wrapped itself around him and the tree rose into the air sending out new branches. Each year the tree grew and the layers closest to the center were hugged tightly by the newer rings.
In this way the tree survived.
We can learn much from the tree. The members in our midst who have been a part of the tree the longest should be ‘hugged’ by newer “Family” members.
The strength of the tree does not seem to be found in the center, but it is the center of the tree that provided the foundation for long term growth.
Perhaps we have been putting the most experienced in our homes and church families out to pasture when they should be held in high esteem in a bond of loving protection and honor.
Have you hugged a ‘tree’ lately?
Maybe you should.
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life (Proverbs 16:31 - NLT).
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Enjoyed this story very much! Will keep it in mind during the greeting time in church.
Loved the title, Benji! Thought you applied your idea well to a church congregation without stretching the analogy beyond credibility.
Kind and Wise words dear Ben! Love, Pat