Monday, September 03, 2018

A Time to Plant by Rose McCormick Brandon

 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. Psalm 52:8
Four years after we moved to Sault Ste. Marie, we added another son to our family of four. To give thanks for Peter John’s birth I ordered a Crimson King from a nursery and had it planted in the front yard. A tree was exactly what our barren corner lot needed. 
The birth of a baby and the planting of the tree seemed symbols of our decision to put down roots. (We stayed in the city for 31 years.) Like our son the tree flourished and grew to manhood. Today, I can open google earth and see it standing tall, all forty feet of it, covered in rich red leaves, watching over the old neighbourhood. 
When we lived in that house situated at the entrance to the sub-division, I prayed often for the families who lived there. The tree stands, not only to remind me how God blessed us with another son, but as a testament to the many prayers that went up from that location. 
There is a time to plant, to put down roots and settle in for the duration. After the flood, Noah cultivated the ground; he planted a vineyard (Genesis 9:20). Abraham planted a tree at Beersheba (Genesis 21:33). Isaac planted crops (Genesis 26:12). Trees, crops and gardens are evidence of God’s blessings, in the present and in the future. 
Those who delight in God are likened to trees by a river bank (Psalm 1:3), strong and lush with growth. Wherever God puts you, be productive there. Grow in God's truth and grace. And plant a garden, a tree, or even an inside plant, to signify you’re serious about blooming where you're planted.
Prayer: Lord, I may not be 100% happy with my present living circumstances. Nevertheless, I commit to growing roots and thriving for You in this place. 
Rose McCormick Brandon is the author of four books, including Promises of Home – Stories of Canada's British Home Children, plus dozens of personal experience pieces, devotionals, short stories and essays. Rose’s work has won awards in the personal experience and short essay categories. A member of The Word Guild and The Manitoulin Writers Circle, Rose and husband, Doug, summer on Manitoulin Island where her pioneer ancestors settled and the home of his favourite fishing holes. The rest of the year, they live in Caledonia, Ontario, near their three children and three grandchildren. 


Peter Black said...

Thank you Rose, for your thoughtful focus and application. Trees, gardens, agricultural tending and growth - all so analogous to life and especially our spiritual lives.
Crimson King . . . that was a new name to me. Having now checked it out, I realise that a parsonage we lived in for nine years had one (or one very much like it) in the front yard. I passed by that house recently and it is now quite a mature tree, too. ~~+~~

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Peter, isn't it interesting how symbolic trees are? Often people point to them, as they do to people, and comment how they remember when it was only a twig. And how the Psalmist likened people who trust in the Lord to magnificent trees that flourish on river banks. How awesome to be compared to a tree in all its glory.

Peter Black said...

Yep. Psalm 1 is one of my favourites and its tree planted by the waters analogy. Now that I'm well into my senior years I particularly like the psalmist's analogising: "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree . . . planted in the house of the Lord . . . They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green" (from Psa. 92:12-14). :) ~~+~~

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