Cutting the Christmas Tree
David and I just picked out our Christmas tree. The fresh scent of Fraser fir filled our senses as we browsed through the trees available. We finally settled on a lovely tree that looked full and balanced.
After we paid, the attendant cut off the lower branches to make it manageable to put into the Christmas tree stand, and he cut a fresh piece off the trunk. The purpose of cutting the main trunk was to open up the pores and allow the tree to drink in a lot of water, thereby allowing it to stay fresher longer.
The pores had begun to close after the initial cut a while back when it was brought from the farm in North Carolina. Without water, those exposed fibers were dead now. The trunk needed a fresh cut to open those pores again and satiate the thirst of the poor thing. This cut was for the good of the tree, to enable it to fulfill its purpose well. Now the tree could stay hydrated longer to keep its needles, and grace a family’s living room.
A Fresh Cut Will Make Me Thirsty
I thought about how this compares with our lives. Our spiritual “pores” will often close or grow calloused over time; I don’t feel the need for God, and I don’t talk with Him, like ever. It is when I receive a fresh “cut” – the pang of a trial – that the pores are wide open and thirsty again. My life is a Psalm again – crying out to the Lord and taking hope and courage in my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer.
Familiarity and sameness is lovely and predictable, but they can make me grow apathetic. I especially am a person that loves to cling to schedule and expectations. I have found over time though, that what I need to cling to is the Lord and rest in His values and expectations, His schedule. He often will allow a fresh cut to make me more thirsty for Him and not get too comfortable in my routine in this world.
When I have developed the habit of being th(i)nkful, there is a coping mechanism that is engaged when the cut happens. I know what to do. I begin to draw up the character and purposes of the Water of Life, and brainstorm things that I can think thanks about in the difficult situation. Stress, anger, fear, or sadness may try to get me off track, but if I download the grace the Lord offers, and engage my thoughts to think thanks and express that thanks, there is a peace that begins to flow.
Let the fresh cuts of the Lord in your life open you wide to drink deeply from the One who offers living water that satisfies your soul.
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes”