Jun. 20, 2019

A Tree Planted By The Rivers of Water...

 “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna! Hosanna!”

Jesus is entering Jerusalem, riding on a donkey colt while people along the way spread their cloaks before him, wave palm branches and generally make a huge welcoming fuss over him. He enters the city, goes into the temple courts and then as it is already late, goes on to Bethany with his chosen twelve. The next day, leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if it had any fruit. Disappointed, as all he found was leaves as it just wasn’t fig season yet, he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” Everybody heard him say it and were probably a little astonished as it wasn’t the tree’s fault that it just wasn’t time for fruit.

Then after a busy day driving out money changers and all those who were selling stuff inside the temple... “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations...but you have made it a den of robbers!” Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. In the morning as they went along, they saw that same fig tree, withered from its roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered.” Mark 11:7-21

As you can see from the picture, I have a tree that looks pretty much like that fig tree that so annoyed Jesus on Palm Sunday, just a few days before those same crowds who were yelling “Hosanna” started yelling “Crucify Him!” My tree, an oleander, was a really lovely thing, tall, sturdy, covered with white blossoms and about as healthy and happy as it’s possible for a tree to be when it lived three doors up the street at our daughter, Crissy’s house. It made the mistake, however, of tossing lots of those blossoms into their swimming pool and Crissy’s husband, Chris, came to hate it as he scooped hundreds of oleander blossoms out of the pool every day.

I, not having a pool, lusted after this tree and offered to take it off his hands and plant it in my yard. He enthusiastically agreed and we arranged for the landscape guys to come move it to my place. They promptly planted it in the wrong spot, had to come back, dig it up and plant it in the right spot. Then, for some reason unknown to anyone involved, the water got shut off in my yard and the tree, which should have been getting gallons of water every day was getting none. Zero. Zip. Not a drop. By the time I figured this out...yes, I admit I have moments when I’m a little slow... the tree was a goner and every day it gets drier and more pathetic.

Early this morning, I stretched out a brand new 100’ hose to be sure it’s long enough to reach my new tree. Yes, friends and neighbors, a new tree! A Sunday or two ago, we descended upon our local tree nursery where a delightful and extremely knowledgeable young woman, Lucy, escorted us up and down row after row of gorgeous trees, each of which was just waiting for the right checkbook to appear. Making a decision was difficult when faced with so much beauty. Another oleander? Ash? Acacia? Crepe myrtle? No, definitely not as they are deciduous and will spend all winter looking bleak. And suddenly, there it was, the exquisite creature I had been imagining.

Today, some time between 11 and 1, my new Tipu (Tipuana Tipu) tree will replace the withered oleander. The Tipu is, reportedly, a fast growing shade tree, thrives in intense desert heat and cold, will produce a coat of golden blooms in late Spring and is perfect where a high shade canopy is desired. Who could possibly ask for more!

Here’s where possible failure comes in: Every morning and every evening for the next couple of weeks or so, I’m supposed to fill up the basin they will create at the base of the tree. That’s it, you ask? Yes, but...

“Blessed is the man...whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” Ps. 1:1-4

Actually, I can’t possibly fail as it is my delight to sit outside early in the morning, read God’s Word and lift up my friends and family to Him in prayer. The tree is right there in front of me. It’s leaf shall not wither as I shall water it while I feed my heart and soul.

“...a tree planted by the rivers of water...”