Are You a Post or a Tree?
This question may seem strange to you, but there is a good lesson to be learned in the answer. So, read on. When I was a young man growing up in the country, part of a large family, our family owned and raised cows. The cows supplemented our meals, since they provided milk for us kids to drink and butter for our bread. Some of them were even slaughtered to provide meat for the table. Having cattle was also useful in teaching me and my siblings the responsibility of a work ethic since some of us had to milk them twice a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
These cows were kept in a fenced pasture which had to be constantly checked to make sure there were no holes through which the cows could escape. From time to time some of the fence posts had to be replaced since they were rotten. They would fall over and cause the fence to sag providing the cows with a way to get out. This was a source of aggravation to me and my brothers, since we had to round up the cows that got out, and then repair the fence by replacing the posts. This required both time and work. And you know how kids enjoy such things. I sometimes wished the posts would be like trees so they wouldn’t rot and have to be replaced. What made the difference?
Think about it! Plant a post and a tree in the ground, side by side. At the beginning the tree is small, slender and easily bent or broken. The post, on the other hand, is large, solid and strong. It is hard to move and will support a fence. But then the forces of nature take over. The tree begins to grow little by little, gradually becoming bigger and stronger. In a few years it stands tall and sturdy, while the post planted at the same time has now become rotten and soon falls. What was the difference between the tree and the post? One was dead and the other was alive. The tree, being alive, continued to develop and mature. That is why it got stronger with time. On the other hand, the post was dead, and the ravages of time caused it to become weaker until it collapsed. Now for the application. What about those of us who claim to be Christians? Are we like the tree or the post? If our religious life is like the post, then we will surely grow weaker year by year, until we finally fall away and die spiritually. But, if we are truly alive in Christ, then the passing years will see us grow stronger and more mature than we were when we first began our lives as Christians. As Christians we have been made alive by the regenerating power of the blood of Christ Tit.3:5. Afterward, real spiritual life is maintained by remaining rooted in faith, and continuing to grow stronger each passing day through reading, study, and prayer.