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Be strong like a tree

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They are strong like a tree planted by a river (Psalm 1:3).

The post Be strong like a tree appeared first on Lutheran Church of Australia.

by Pastor Peter Bean

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They are strong like a tree planted by a river (Psalm 1:3).

Read Psalm 1

Several years ago, I travelled from Adelaide to Wagga Wagga. I stayed overnight at Moulamein, NSW, about halfway. At Moulamein on the Edward River is a gumtree known as the Big Tree. Its girth is almost 12 metres, the biggest in the Riverina. It is still going strong, even though it is estimated to be between 500 and 1000 years old.

Imagine the birds it has hosted in that time – the lizards, insects and invertebrates. It has supported and given life to many creatures in nature. It has allowed them to live and be successful, to use the words of the psalm. Obviously, it has also brought much pleasure to the humans who have visited it.

Similarly, there is a large gumtree in a park behind where I live with its girth about five metres – who knows how old it is. It is planted below a dam, so it has a plentiful water supply. Again, many insects, birds and reptiles enhance their life from this tree. As well as this, the neighbourhood children love climbing it, swinging from its branches and playing underneath it (so do a few adults!). It has enriched the lives of many people and animals.

You could say these two trees have been successful in everything they do (verse 3) – as have many other river red gums in our country.

We are encouraged to be like these trees! Strong, producing fruit, succeeding in what we do. Obviously, we are not going to live to be 500 years old. But we can give life to others, enhance their lives by providing support in all sorts of forms: a word of encouragement, nutrition through Scripture or food and water, listening to those without a voice, and attempting to understand their situations, praying for them, seeking justice when justice is not present.

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The river we are planted near is God’s love for us, expressed through Jesus’ death and resurrection, with the resultant gift of forgiveness and new life. If we continue to dip our toes in these waters of grace and mercy, we too can bear fruit and have leaves that provide sustenance. Then God can make what we do successful. Be strong like a tree.

Thanks, God of nature and creator of all things, for your gift of large trees and all the benefits they provide. Help us learn from them and fill our lives with your grace and mercy so we can be successful for you. Amen.

The post Be strong like a tree appeared first on Lutheran Church of Australia.

Source: Lutheran Church of Australia

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