(Isa 61:3) . . . That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."
Arbor day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Nationally it is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April. Arbor Day was established by newspaper editor J. Sterling Morton of Nebraska City, Nebraska in 1872. Morton believed that planting trees would help beautify the state, provide shade, and prevent soil erosion by creating windbreaks. On the first Arbor Day, 1 million trees were planted. This observance is also celebrated by several other countries.
Now Arbor Day might not inspire you to plant a tree anytime soon but let’s at least use it to plant a thought in our minds from Scripture. Let’s start from the roots up:
ROOTS - (Eph 3:17) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love . . . Because of Jesus our hearts are rooted in the soil of God’s love. Every day we are nourished by God’s careful attention. This is why we have the capacity to love the unlovable and to avoid a root of bitterness (Heb 12:15).
BRANCHES - (Hosea 14:6) His branches shall spread; His beauty shall be like an olive tree, And his fragrance like Lebanon. As we are well-rooted in the Lord we will grow strong and branch out (Zech 6:12). God will take us in unique directions where we never intended to go (Rom 11:33). People will be attracted to the fragrance of Christ within us (2 Cor 2:14). As a result, we will be able to provide a safe nesting place for others (Mat 13:32) and shade for the weary (Dan 4:12; Psa 121:5).
FRUIT - (John 15:4) "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. As a consequence of being connected to Jesus we will bear fruit for Him. What kind you might ask? A variety actually. There is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). Then there is the fruit of righteousness (Jms 3:18). There is also the fruit of our lips as we give thanks to His name (Heb 13:15).
It’s great to be a tree of righteousness that the Lord might be glorified. And from root to fruit we are His! But knowing we are a tree, we should expect a couple of things:
Expect a little pruning - (John 15:2) . . . every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Remind yourself of this when times get tough. It’s only temporary.
Bloom where you are planted - (Isa 35:1) . . . the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose . . . You might not be where you want to be but even in the desert you can blossom like a rose! Show others what God can do with a content heart.