I first wrote about the tree that sits on my front lawn last Spring, after it went through a torturous winter. This year was no different. We had less snow but very low temperatures and Spring seemed to delay quite a bit.
When the weather began to change in March I was just glad for the warmer temperatures, the opportunity to spend time outdoor and take walks. I was also glad for my little tree, which was completely bare.
Spring came and all of the trees in my neighborhood began to bloom. All except the one on my front lawn. Weeks into Spring, the air was light and the neighborhood was completely bright with the colors of Spring, yet my tree did not grow as much as one leaf.
I eventually became conscious of it and wondered if there is anything we failed to do in the winter, or if the tree was just dead and gone. I decided to wait another week, and this is when it happened. I walked outside and saw the first small leaves appear. They were tiny, much smaller than what I remember happening last year.
Days later, my small leaves had grown bigger. It was still nothing to be proud about, but progress was made. Then it rained all day for 3 days in a row, and I don’t remember looking up at the tree during this time. I would rush to the car and back in the house, not thinking to look up.
It stopped raining and I took T to the park. We were walking back toward the house when I looked up and there it was, A FULL TREE. Something beautiful, almost miraculous had happened in what at that point now seemed like such little time.
I smiled, then laughed as I pointed the tree out to him.
Again, God taught me a beautiful lesson thru this tree. To be the last to bloom is fine. Each tree blooms in its time, according to its own soil, conditions and type. It is irrelevant what has happened to every other tree on my block, the city or the world. This little tree here will bloom when it is ready and when the conditions are right for it.
It is so easy to compare ourselves with others, and many times, this exercise will leave us feeling that there is a lack in an area of our lives. There is always something another person does much better than we do, and when we place our lives on top of each other, they will never stack just right.
But our lives were never meant to be compared to each other. The image of perfection from which to model our lives does not come from the example of our brother or sister. Christ is the life we should look to, and He is the Only One whose life we should seek to mirror.
The perfection that we see in Him does not condemn us, but instead it brings the reassurance that every day we find ourselves closer to the time when we bloom. Little leaves of sanctification come forward as signs of a life that is being transformed by Him.
And in the hard places in life where we don’t yet see signs of life, we know that as long as we are connected to the tree, we will in time experience the fullness that in utter amazement I watched take place on my front lawn this Spring.
What has God taught you lately about your life?