The Hemlock Tree.

In 2007, my wife Maryellen, and I, our daughter Amber, and our granddaughter, Michelle, went to Stonybrook Park for a camping trip. Michelle was very young at the time. Amber had prepaid for the campsite weeks in advance. We drove to Stonybrook that morning and signed in at the entrance of the park. When we finally found the campsite, there were a lot of loud people around our site. In addition there were stones and gravel to set up our tents on, as well as a steep drop-off without a fence.

Amber was quite upset about the arrangement. So we left the site to sign out for a refund. At the ranger’s station, another ranger was hearing about the complaint and spoke up: “We have another site called ‘group camp’ where groups rent an entire area for camping. The group that was to come has cancelled. Would you like to see what it looks like? ” Sure, we said. It turned out to be about half the size of a football field, with Stonybrook Creek running beside it, with a large, beautiful waterfall right near the campsite. We had it for the entire Labor Day weekend all to ourselves.

As we took a walk during our stay, we came upon a large clearing in the woods. I noticed a tree all by itself, a very large hemlock tree, I would say at least 80 feet tall. It was fully developed. Its branches were easy for me to reach from the ground. It had very small cones on it, containing seeds like in pine cones, only very small, I noticed the same kind of trees, all close together in the woods, mixed with other kinds. They were competing with each other for sunlight, where their branches are way up in the air, forming the canopy of the forest. You would need to climb at least 40 – 50 feet to reach a branch.

But that one big tree stood alone. It came from a seed from the tiniest cone I had ever seen. It had total access to sunlight, where it could grow, unhindered by its surroundings. I tried measuring it around its girth and it was more than twice my six feet two inch reach around it. Now, envision this:

The tree represents you. Its seed represents your new beginning
The soil where the tree grew represents the condition of your heart to receive from God.
The clearing in the woods represents the position we need to take to seek the Lord.
The tree represents your new stature in the Lord as you seek His Face.
The tree represents your growth in Him.
The tree represents the Presence of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, becoming more prominent in your life.
The tree represents the growth and expansion of the power of God in your life.
The tree represents what you can become when you seek Him with your whole heart:  A tree of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be Glorified.

Try to imagine, or envision now, your walk with the Lord when you come out from the crowded life you have been living. Present yourself, uninhibited, and unhindered, as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual act of worship. It is going to have a great impact on your life. You will be transformed by the renewing of your mind. You will have greater awareness of His Presence.

You will discover that with faith as small as a mustard seed, you will be ordering mountains in your life to be moved and they will have to move. Your doubt will be overwhelmed by your faith. The eyes of the Lord are roaming to and fro throughout the whole earth, seeking those whose hearts are steadfast toward Him, to show Himself strong in their behalf.

Your prayer life will become more powerful and effective. You will discover the ability to hear the Lord’s Voice with greater clarity. You will know intimately that Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. To please God means to agree with what He says. Without the faith you need, you will not be able to please Him. But The Lord Jesus Christ is the Author and Finisher of your Faith.

He has given to every man, and every woman the measure of Faith. Walk away from, and walk out of, the darkness now. Call upon Him, and He will answer you. Come away from the lifestyle that has crowded out the song that was such a critical part of your life. Come out from among them and be separate. For He is your shield and your exceedingly great reward. He is the rewarder unto those who diligently seek Him. For the just shall live by Faith.

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