The tree was dead when we bought the property. We knew it needed to come down eventually, but once we got used to it being there, we simply did not notice it anymore. This week though, as a part of our wood stove’s appetite for fuel (and thanks to extra manpower on break from college) we cut it down and split it. What we discovered surprised me. The dead tree had been preventing us from experiencing the full beauty of our sunsets. What I had gotten used to as “just part of the yard” was actually a detriment to experiencing the fullness of what could be.
I have been reflecting a lot on Philippians 4:7 recently: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” How many times do I say that I want to experience the peace of God, yet leave the figurative ‘dead trees’ in my life? I am afraid that rather than experiencing the fullness of Christ guarding my heart and mind, I cling to idols and sins, or keep my schedule so full of stuff that there is no margin to savor the peace that God offers.
As we celebrate the peace that Jesus Christ brings to our lives, I hope that we are reminded of our responsibility to cut down the dead trees to embrace that peace more fully. In the days ahead, may we savor the beauty that God brings to our lives through a peace-filled walk with Him. I pray that we maintain time each day to savor that peace, and to yield our hearts and minds to Christ Jesus for His active guarding.
May we experience Jesus’ peace as a Seventh Day Baptist General Conference in the year ahead–as we strive to live in the light on Our Road Ahead.
Grace and peace,
Carl Greene, Executive Director, Seventh Day Baptist General Conference of USA and Canada