This Thanksgiving break my husband and I traveled to Washington state to visit my family. Washington’s nickname is the Evergreen State and you can see why!
One of my favorite parts of Washington state is, Mt. Ranier. Driving around the greater Seattle area you can catch glimpses of this majestic mountain usually frosted with a luscious layer of snow.
While visiting Mt. Ranier we went on a hike.
During our hike my Uncle pointed out several trees that had grown by taking root in other dead tree trunks. These fallen logs are called “nursing logs” and provide protection and a safe environment for young seedlings to grow and flourish.
We saw several of these nursing logs not only sustaining but life but providing a foundation for some of the largest trees in the forest to thrive.
My eyes were transfixed by the nursing logs. I stared at their fallen majesty, glimpsing a reflection of the past year.
I thought about what had died over the past year: two sweet babies and our dreams: Our dream of a wedding followed by a healthy baby.
Majestic trees had to fall to nurture new seedlings. They may have been the tallest and strongest trees in the forest. Their leafy branches might have soared high above the rest.
Yet, even as the tree is falling, hope is beginning for a small seedling who is looking for a place to land. This seedling will find sustenance and reach the fullness of its potential.
Life has begun for this gentle seedling through the death of another.
Life comes from death.
It is the hope of the Gospel. (Romans 3:23-26)
I needed some hope. I had taken another negative pregnancy test a few days before and the questions which followed my miscarriages had sprung with renewed force:
“Can anything good come from this tragedy?” “Where is God and what is He doing?”
I knew the right answers: God isn’t the author of tragedy. He is the author of life.
But I needed fresh hope. Anyone else need that today?
Gazing at the nursing logs, I was reminded of the miracle that occurred after God showed Ezekiel a valley filled with dry bones and then asking him a perplexing question,
“Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3)
If I was Ezekiel, my first reaction would have been no way! Just like if I saw a fallen log in the forest and someone asked me prior to my “nursing log lesson” if that tree could live and produce life. I would have definitely said, “no that tree is dead, its not giving life to anything.”
Ezekiel wisely answered, “Sovereign Lord, you know.” (Ez. 37:4) Then he was told to prophesy to the bones, as Ezekiel spoke life to the deadest of the dead he witnessed an amazing sight:
“So I prophesied as I was commanded, and the breath came into them; they lived and stood on their feet, an extremely great army.” (Ez 37:10)
This passage gives me the chill bumps every time I read it! Not only were dry bones brought back to life but they were turned into something powerful: an army.
The nursing logs weren’t just growing a Charlie brown sized Christmas tree – they were growing the next generation of forest royalty.
There has been death this year, but I will see life. There has been heartbreak but I have experienced the Healer. Dreams have been shattered, but a new dream is taking root within me.
Today I am clinging to these promises:
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.” (2 Corinthians 4:11)
I don’t know where my seedling is falling. I can’t understand how something vast and powerful can come after death. But I trust there will be a seedling. I trust the One who makes the seedling. I trust Him to bring life from every fallen log.
This is so fitting for this week. Advent begins with hope, but also the season of death, winter. The winter brings the new life in the spring, of course, but we aren’t yet in the spring. We are in the land of cold, barren emptiness. But hope is lit as a lonely flame, standing tall and purple and brave. And the darkness does not overcome it.
That was so beautifully written and it is true! Thank you for sharing Jenna!
Love your heart charity-this message is really encouraging and fills me with hope to see life come out of “dead” places
Yesterday I read this very interesting sentence, maybe you have use of it:
“The cave I have kept you in is not a tomb as you supposed, but rather an incubator where I nurtured and matured you.”
[incubator bold and underlined, I like this word, we must be cramped to mature; I hope this word does not make you sad]
This in my own words for you/ us:
“The situation(s) God allows is (are) wonderful for growing and getting nearer to Him and His will.”
All things we don’t understand, He understands. With everything He allows or allows not (yet) He knows exactly what He does and what we need to mature. Someone said: If I do not get this, then God has something better for me.
Sometimes and also today I wonder why some things did not happen I fervently wish they would have happened, but I know and must remember that Jesus knows why and that He does only the best for me and others and He also does all in the appropriate time!
So I am happy that He has only the best in mind and that I can ask Him to help me, to give me endurance and much patience to endure His will until He maybe gives that what I wish or gives even better (what i think He will do 🙂 ).
And I am happy about your trust and moving forward! “I don’t know where my seedling is falling. I can’t understand how something vast and powerful can come after death. But I trust there will be a seedling. I trust the One who makes the seedling. I trust Him to bring life from every fallen log.” I like this very much!
I pray God can give you much more hope and endurance and patience to do/ to endure His will.
Remember: God has the best in mind for you!
Blessings and with much love,
Esther, Thank you so much for sharing that quote! I really like it and it is an encouragement to me. I agree with you that God has our best in mind. Even when life is challenging and difficult, I try to always remember that He is good and will work all things together for the good of those who love Him like He promises us in Romans 8:28. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your heart. You are an encouragement to me!
Hi Charity and all others!
What will be when we endure with Him:
“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.”
Revelation 21:4 English Standard Version
A verse which made me happy this morning.
Such a great verse Esther, Thanks for sharing!
Love this entry!! Probably my favorite one so far. Thanks for speaking truth and words of hope and redemption!