“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Life seems to find a way, even when we think that we have destroyed something completely. I have always been fascinated by trees and tree stumps. When I was quite young, my dad cut a couple of trees down in our backyard. He did not remove the stumps, however. I thought to myself, “Well, that’s that. I’ll never see those trees again.” Yet, the following year, there were several shoots pushing up around the perimeter of the stumps as the trees tried to hang on to their hold for life.
Did you ever notice that, even if you grind a stump down under the ground and cover it up with dirt, there is a good chance that shoots will come up the following year somewhere along the path of the roots? If a root is left in the ground, it will do everything that it can to send up new shoots in order to stay alive. If it cannot send up shoots to break through the earth and convert the sunlight into energy and nourishment, the root will ultimately die and rot away.
As you have probably surmised, today’s symbol for the Jesse Tree is a tree stump with a shoot on it. It is for the “Root of Jesse”, one of the titles of Jesus. David’s lineage had long been promised to produce someone who would deliver God’s people. As with the trees, some of those shoots were cut down before they could become mighty again.
In the course of time, a deliverer would come forth who would save God’s people because He could not be cut down. Even in the throes of apparent death, Jesus rose from the dead to destroy death and restore life. God’s promise is eternal. His ability to deliver on His promise is real. The hope that He gives His people is solid. Cling to that hope today and encourage that hope in another.
FAITH ACTION: If there is something, or someone, that you have given up on, consider giving that idea or that person another chance.