What do you think of when you look at the photograph of this tree?
My first thought when I saw it on one my recent morning runs around Lake Hollingsworth was something isn’t quite right, something went wrong here. I began to think about the possibilities of what might cause a tree to grow this way. Was it damaged early on, when it was just a young plant? Was it a storm with strong winds that caused the trunk to bend? Did the trunk slightly break at some point, leaving the roots intact enough for the tree to still grow, but grow in a distorted way? Was there something wrong with the tree from its very beginning that predisposed it to grow this way, without any external influences?
One thing is for sure, this tree is still a tree. Although it looks different from the other trees growing nearby, it still bears the image of what it was designed to be. And even though it appears that something may have gone wrong in its intended growth pattern it still has a certain beauty of its own.
I think we are very much like this tree. Created in the image of God, we bear the beauty of His likeness. But because we are born into a fallen world, into a broken state as a result of sin, we have aspects of our lives that are distorted or not as they were created to be. Sometimes circumstances such as illness, difficult relationships, tragedies and loss can press in upon our hearts and cause damage that manifests itself in different ways in our lives. Sometimes just the stress of normal, daily living over time can wear us down and cause bending, twisting and even breaking in the design of our created nature.
He makes all things new . . .
The good news is that just like this tree, we still, even in our brokenness, have the eternal imprint of our Creator. The hope of the gospel of redemption is that even in the midst of the pain, sadness and loneliness that are part of our days on this earth, we still have life and we still grow. And the even greater hope is that because Jesus lived and died to right all the wrongs of this life, for those who place their faith in his merciful forgiveness and grace, one day all things will be made new and will once again reflect the perfect, beautiful image of God, the Creator.
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:3-4
This post was written by Julie Rice, LCS Director of Enrollment. If you are interested in LCS, please feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.