I have spent many a morning staring at this tree outside our old apartment. I have watched it slowly fade in the cold, winter air. I have watched it seem to shiver and lament as the winter steals its joy. I have watched this tree burst bright with white blooms. Covered with flowers it sways in the spring breeze and showers the ground with its petals. I have watched the blooms fade into a vibrant green. A more stable season of summer where it seems to glitter and bask in the sun and soak up every summer storm and ray of sun. I have watched this tree transition into earthy, orange and red hues. The fall season bringing with it a comfortable coolness. Its leaves coat the ground and give a colorful pathway beneath my feet. And then I have watched it fade again, back into the cold of winter. Back to its barrenness. Back to its empty branches.

This tree and I have been through a lot together. We have been almost synchronized in our seasons. As I have bloomed with life inside me I would watch the tree’s petals floating in the sky. As I would grieve another loss, I would stare in solidarity at its empty branches.

But the Lord whispered something to me in my reflecting. In all of the seasons this tree has known, it has never been moved.

This tree has seen fruitfulness, vibrancy, barren branches and harsh winds. And it will have more of these seasons. But it hasn’t moved. Its roots keep it strong. Its roots anchor it into the nutrient rich soil, and it will keep growing and thriving and shedding and dying.

I’m reminded of these lyrics by worship leader Christy Nockels, “With my roots deep in you // I’ll grow the branch that bears the fruit // And though I’m small I’ll still be standing in the storm//And I’ll grow up strong and beautiful all for Your splendor Lord”.

Like this tree, I will continue to see seasons of blooming and seasons of pain. But by His grace, I will not be moved. By His keeping I will grow up strong and beautiful all for His splendor.

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