For the month of February, I’d like to allow a tree to speak to us. Each week, we will glean wisdom from the Chestnut tree. Small Chestnut trees flank the winding lanes of the farm, a project Becky (owner) started when we had hogs, “for you finish off a hog with chestnuts, it makes their meat taste oh so good and juicy.” (I’ve heard over and over) The farm’s focus is no longer on hogs and those small trees have yet to produce many nuts, but they are finally green after a season of looking like death on stalks.
I love spending time with Becky. One afternoon, I jumped on her ATV, and we set out to trim the little sprouts at the base of her trees.
“I don’t know Becky, they’re not looking too good,” I said while snipping the little sprouts.
“I’m hoping they are going to spring back eventually. I had a Chestnut Tree specialist come and tell me how to grow them,” Becky said. Along the ride, she shared some interesting facts about the tree she’d learned from that specialist and I couldn’t help but hear the life lessons the Chestnut trees told.
Life Lesson I.
When a tree is newly planted it may turn brown for a season as it adjusts to the shock of being planted in new soil.
Last year, I started a women’s Bible study on Wednesday nights. I’ve admitted I have no idea what I’m doing and asked the women to extend me a learning curve, but I’m stepping out in obedience. The girls are just happy someone is willing to lead them. Besides, I bribe them with deserts. Throughout this process, I’ve observed women from every race, age, and background sit around the table with their arms folded across their chest, and as they become comfortable and trust in the process of sharing, literally unfold themselves on the table. God is growing their faith and their brown leaves are turning green before my eyes. That is enough for me to continue leading just to be a witness to it all.
Throughout 2017, “Fear over faith” became my motto. God presented opportunities that took me out of my comfort zone, a couple of speaking opportunities, a writer on assignment job, joining an art league and submitting my work, but as each opportunity presented itself my faith grew. It is good to step out of your comfort zone. It turns a brown, withered faith into a fresh green one.
Are you feeling brown as you are newly transported into a new town, job, ministry, as a new mother? Do not give up hope. Trust in God’s plan and prayerfully seek Him for your confidence in your new placement.
Does your faith feel withered and worn? Do you need to set your feet on the unfamiliar soil in order to bring back the spark of your faith? Ask God to present opportunities for you to grow.
Meet me by the Chestnut next week!