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Monday, October 19, 2009

Trials and Trees

Yesterday I told you about a family in town whose house burned down.  Thankfully no one was hurt and the family has been helped with food, clothing, shelter, and money. 

Typically our small town is quiet and doesn't have too much going on.  But this weekend has been really different because two strange things have happened. Today a man fell out of a tree and broke his neck, several ribs and fractured vertebrae.  He was medi-flighted to Oklahoma City for evaluation and possible surgery, but after examination, the doctors believe he will only need a brace and will possibly come home in a few days.  Thankfully both of these events have had good outcomes. God has blessed both of these families.

Both of the stories above involve trees or wood from trees. We have a few tree stories in our family, as well.  In 2004, my mom asked for something unique for Mother's Day.  She wanted her trees trimmed and asked if her two sons-in-law could do the trimming for her.  So, on the Saturday before Mother's Day on that Sunday, my husband and brother-in-law began working on the trees. 

It wasn't too long after the work began that my 2nd oldest child came running into the house and said, "Daddy's hurt!".  I rushed out to the back yard and found Joe lying on the ground gasping for air and couldn't talk plainly.  It was so scary!  I honestly thought that he was paralyzed and would never be able to speak again.  But, thankfully, God allowed Joe to be healed.  He did break his collar bone and some ribs and later developed pneumonia, but was back to normal within a few months.  God blessed Joe and our whole family.

Almost a year and a half after Joe's tree incident happened, his brother had his own tree encounter.  Except this time it didn't involve falling OUT of a tree - it involved a tree falling ON him.  Joe's brother, Dan, was with a group of volunteers from his church family who were working with Hurricane Katrina victims in Texas. 

I can't remember all of the details, but a large tree was being cut down due to storm damage and it fell on top of Dan, pinning him underneath.  After getting the tree off of him and accessing his injuries, he was flown to Galveston for surgery.  Later he was able to fly to an Oklahoma City hospital which was closer to his home in Edmond.  He had many broken bones and months of hospital stays, doctor's appointments and therapy.  He, too, has been blessed with an almost-total recovery and is back to running marathons, triathalons, and lots of other (crazy!) things. God blessed Dan and his whole family.

There are many "tree" stories in the Bible.  There were real trees and figurative trees.  Trees were used to provide wood for sacrifices and to build things.  Trees gave refuge and brought death. 

When we think of Jesus' encounter with a tree, our minds will most likely think about the cross.  The cross conjures up many different things in people's minds, but to the Christian, the cross signifies Jesus' sacrifice.  Jesus' death on the cross gives the opportunity for us to have salvation and eternal life.  Without the cross, we would be lost!  The cross is where Jesus willingly gave His life for us.  He became the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10)  The cross is where God blessed us by giving His Son up for us.

Thank you God, for making trees.  They are beautiful and provide us with food, shelter, cleaner air, and so many other things.  Be with the family who lost their home in the fire. Be with the one who fell from the tree today and continue to help him heal.  Thank you for blessing Joe and Dan and allowing them to recover from their tree incidents.  But especially, thank you for giving Your Son, Jesus, to die on the tree - the cross - for us and our sins.  You have blessed us in so many ways, and for that, we are grateful.

In Jesus' Name,


kathyr said...

I have thought about you and your Grandfather so many times lately. Gene was so proud of you - I'm sure you must know that.
In reading your "tree" stories I wondered if you also has thought about your family "roots" of which your Grandfather established for the fruits of his labor for his Master. Gene was a mighty, tall and strong oak for our church family. A place for shelter and comfort from the storms of life, a gentle breeze (HUG)to remind us we are loved by him and HIM, the sound of gently blowing leaves in his laughter and the steadfastness of his character and convictions - his roots established for you.
I am blessed to have known him.
In Christs Love,

Lori said...

Thank you! And I didn't think about the "roots" aspect at all when I wrote that, but what a great thought :).

I miss Grandpa and Grandma sooooo much. I am very thankful that my kids all knew him and we still mention him quite frequently because of the influence he had on everyone around him. He was a very special man. I thought you might enjoy this post from March or April that talked about him:

Thank you for your comment. Lori

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