Friday, January 24, 2020

Pining Away


Psalm 29:5
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

Sequestered in an enclave of forest splendor, the last thing my husband, Danny, and I ever wish to do is to remove a tree from our yard.  But after an errant lightning bolt strikes a stately pine tree last summer, taking the brutal brunt for all the other trees nearby, we know we have no choice but to have it removed as a matter of practicality and safety.

But the imagined cost of the project causes us to delay.

Until . . .

A wild and vicious winter storm is predicted to hit us in a few days.  His pragmatic mind in full gear, Danny calls our trusted tree service; fortunately, the company can come out the very next day!  The cost is far more reasonable than we calculated, and these Johnny-on-the-spot experts not only dismantle the looming nemesis of the dead pine, but also eradicate some other limbs threatening our roof.

So, bring on the tornado threatening winds!  We are ready!

And yes, obviously, we survive the maelstrom, thanks be to God!

Had that one pine been allowed to stand?  It could have spelled disaster.  As the owner of the tree service explains to Danny, having a dead tree on our property, without us doing anything to ameliorate the situation, would make us liable, not our insurance company, for any damage its fallen trunk could cause.






Yes, I am so sad that we had to let this noble tree go, the one that laid down its life for its friends.  (John 15:13)

The one upon whom a neighboring sweet gum wrapped a trusting root around.  A tree we will have to keep a close eye on come spring because of its close proximity to the fallen giant.

And I am reminded of this - the voice of the Lord, booming in the lightning strike, can break the cedars and pines.

But He always knows what He's doing.

We cannot know, as the pine did not, what day will be our last.

Yet, we can ever hold fast to God's power and promise, that as believers in Christ, we will inherit eternal life.

A life that will never end, and a life that will be honored greatly if we are willing to take the fall, as that stalwart pine did, for our brothers and sisters in the faith.

Amen!


34 comments:

  1. A good post and a good analogy between Christ and the fallen tree. But I don't understand what you mean by, "if we are willing to take the fall, as that stalwart pine did, for our brothers and sisters in the faith." There are many brothers and sisters who have left the faith. Who have turned their back on God. Apart from praying for them, what else can we possibly do? To talk and reason would most probably further take them away from God. Although often this is not possible if they live far from us and we have no frequent contact.

    Thank you for the thoughtful posts you write here, Martha.

    God bless.

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    1. Praying for them makes perfect sense, Victor. We shouldn't think of that as being a last resort, but the first in "taking the fall," metaphorically. Good question and observation, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Oh, I know how it hurts to take down a mighty tree. We have a large dead pine on our property too, and have hesitated to have it removed because of the cost...and also because the hawk loves to sit in it as he does his morning lookout for food. But we may have to do something before hurricane season comes around again. Loved your analogy. I love the pictures God gives us in nature. Amazing what we can learn when we are paying attention! Thank you!

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    1. Yes, Pamela, sadly you may have to take that tree down sooner than later, especially if it's threatening your home. Like I mentioned, the insurance company will not cover you if the tree that falls is already dead. And truly, Danny was surprised by how little it did cost, all things considered.
      And like you, I love all the pictures/stories God gives us in nature.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. I too have a dead tree in my yard, in fact for the duration of when I bought my house in 1992. Didn’t know insurance would not cover if it hit the neighbors fence in a storm. I need to shop around for prices. Did they carry the wood away or leave it? Like we don’t know when the natural storms severity effects will be, how true it is with our lives and Him coming back. Being prepared in all manner is needful. Thanks for sharing!😀❤️🌹🙏

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    1. Valerie, they did not haul the wood away as there was so much of it, but we were able to roll the logs down into the woods beyond our fence. Those are what Virginia is standing on in the photos. Yes, I would call around and get a quote from some tree folks. The company we use is called Little Bear.
      And we always, always need to be prepared for Jesus!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I love this analogy, Martha. One of our neighbors owns his own tree service and has done an awesome job for us in the past. So surprised to read what your tree man said about homeowner's potential liability. There's one we've been putting off; but now, methinks it warrants a consult.

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    1. You might want to check Alabama regulations first on that, Mevely. They could differ from Georgia's, but living in Tornado Alley, it would be a great idea to take it down.
      So glad you liked the analogy!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I hate to lose trees. But when they have to go, it's good to get them down when you want and where you want. Glad this turned out to be a winning situation, Martha!

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    1. Yes, it was a win-win for us, Lisa. I will miss that old pine, though.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I love pine trees. Nothing smells as good as walking or even riding my bike by a stand of them. Makes me almost want to stop and "smell the pine." (I don't like roses). Good ideas too Martha. Just glad you and Danny and Virginia Rose are okay. :)

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    1. I love the pine fragrance, too, Bill, and I miss that we don't have fresh evergreen in our house at Christmas. I think I need to do something proactive about that this coming holiday season.
      Yes, we are grateful to be safe, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Our old house, where we lived for 28 years, had six live oak trees that we planted the first year we lived there, purchased by my mom as a house-warming gift. They were well over 40 feet tall and provided shade during our hot summers. The new owners took all but one down. I nearly cried when I saw what they did, but one still stands strong in the front yard, still a symbol of my mom's love for us. Rather like our Lord's love for us in your analogy, Martha Jane.

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    1. Oh, Terri, I would have cried, too! Such a bittersweet memory you've shared here today. When my kids were young, my Dad planted trees in honor of every grandchild, and children, too. Fortunately, they are still standing on the Dean's property in Oxford. They are a reminder for us of his love, and God's.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Martha, this is a beautiful post. I'm reminded of Jesus' words to His disciples about how a friend will lay down his life for his friends.

    It's always a relief when costs of things like having a tree removed are less than anticipated.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, what a relief it is when costs are lower than expected, Kim, I totally agree! This tree's sacrifice literally saved our entire forest; thank goodness we had had four days of rain to soak the roots and trunk or the poor tree might have caught the entire forest on fire instead of saving it.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Thank God for His Wisdom to remove the tree. I never knew insurance companies wouldn't pay if it was a dead tree. Wow... But, I do know understand your heart about trees. I love trees!

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    1. Yes, I love my trees! As I mentioned to Mevely above, I'm not sure if the same law applies in every state, so if you need to take one down, I'd check first. Still, just as a safety precaution, it's better to do so.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. wow lessons are all around us, aren't they? great illustrations

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    1. Yes, Jean, God's lessons abound when we take the time to look for them in the world around us.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. I love this one, Martha. There no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend. Lovely analogy. You find the coolest and most simple ways to show God’s desires for us. Thank you, and have a blest weekend.

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    1. Thank you, Nells, for your kind words here. I'm so glad to know you're back on board!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. We are going to look into removing a lovely shade tree from our front yard. Unfortunately, the roots are causing damage.
    Beautiful post as usual.

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    1. Oh, Beckie, I'm so sorry to hear that! Always difficult to take down a tree, even when we know it's necessary.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. Such a great analogy, Martha! God bless you.

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    1. So glad you liked the analogy here, Cheryl.
      Love and blessings!

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  14. I always appreciate your real life circumstances and how it relates to the real Truth in all matters of life.

    And I'm also keenly aware, due to business, how liability and insurance companies operate.

    But God gives us wisdom and in the end always provides in His perfect ways.

    Thanks for the wise reminder! And you're going to have firewood for a decade!

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    1. Lol, Floyd, about that firewood as we have a gas log fireplace! However, the logs will provide all the woodpeckers in our forest with ample venues to find grubs and bugs, so it all turns out right in the end. :)
      I'm glad you like my stories here, too - such a compliment! I believe that every day can reveal a lesson God wishes to teach us, and this was no exception.
      Love and blessings!

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  15. I too hate to chop down trees... Love the shade they bring, the uniqueness, the protection. However, when the threat of danger is there, sometimes they must come down and serve another purpose. I do love a good campfire.

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    1. Trees do serve so many purposes, Ryan, whether living or dead. And we can, too, by serving the Lord while alive, and leaving a legacy of good works and love when we are taken into heaven. We love our shade, too, and our hearts break when one of our own has to be removed, but in this case, we truly had no choice.
      Any s'mores at that campfire? :)
      Love and blessings!

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    2. I do love a tasty s'more

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  16. I never knew that we could be liable for damage from a falling tree. Thank you for the good information. Both the beautiful Psalm and the verse from John were the perfect accompaniment to this post!

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