Contributed by Chantelle Frazee-Jacobs
I am obsessed with the tree of life. I have it on necklaces, paintings and cut out of wood. I rarely leave home without one. This image has become a significant part of my story. Somewhere in my early twenties, I became intrigued by the writings of 16th and 17th century Christians.
Strange and random, I know.
One of my favorite writers was a woman known as Madame Guyon. She used an analogy of a tree to describe our life in Christ. In the Spring and Summer, a tree looks so alive, with its beautiful leaves. To those that pass by, it appears to be thriving. Then autumn comes and the tree loses its leaves. By Winter, the tree looks barren. All of the irregularities of the branches appear in the absence of it’s leaves. In this season, the tree looks dead and lifeless to those who pass by. However, it is actually in the Winter when the tree is most alive. With the leaves gone and the beauty with it, the tree goes inward. Its roots grow deeper and the tree actually becomes stronger. Without the Winter, there could be no Spring.
I have had times in my life where it felt like Winter lasted for more than just one season. The leaves weren’t coming back and there was no sign that the beauty would ever return. It was in those times that this analogy became an anchor. God was at work.
As Romans 8:28 promises: In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Isaiah 43:19, See I am doing a new thing. Now it Springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
He was doing a new thing in me but I couldn’t see it. Those times where I didn’t see the fruit or the change. The days when it didn’t seem like God even heard my prayers, my roots were growing deeper. Without the Winter, we would never grow. Without the Winter, there would be no Spring. So, I wear my tree as a reminder. A reminder that God is at work. God is always at work. He is working for my good, not working for what I want or what I think I need but for my good. For his good. He is using the Winter to prune and mold and deepen our faith so we are ready to be used by Him when Springtime comes.