“I will answer him and care for him. I am like a green pine tree; your fruitfulness comes from me” (Hosea 14:8 NIV).
There are many visual signs of the Christmas season, and Christmas trees are one my favorites. I was surprised to find the above verse in which God likens Himself to a pine tree, and I found the analogy quite interesting.
The pine tree is an evergreen. It never loses its needles and remains green despite the cold of winter. Its foliage is always there to provide shade and shelter. How clearly this describes our Lord, who is there for us always, faithful in every season of life.
The pine tree produces cones in various shapes and sizes. Some cones yield more seeds than others, and some have fewer flaws. Yet they are all attached to and part of the tree, relying on its nourishment to grow. In the same way we are all God’s creation, regardless of our differing abilities. He designed each of us uniquely, and we live and grow according to His perfect plan, relying on His faithfulness to meet our every need.
The cones produce fruit, but only by being attached to the tree itself. The seeds within the cones are dispersed to grow new trees elsewhere. Our illnesses do not keep us from producing fruit for our Lord if we are abiding in Him. He uses us for His kingdom despite our weaknesses, and at times because of them. Our lives may impact someone else, who in turn will affect yet another. By His grace and strength, we too can spread seeds for Him.
New growth on a pine branch is sometimes referred to as a candle. Despite our chronic illnesses, we can grow and shine as candles in some way this Christmas season, scattering seeds of love and faith among those whose lives we touch.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being my source of life, ever constant and unchanging. Remind me of Your faithfulness in the evergreens I see. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bronlynn Spindler is a wife and mother of three grown daughters and lives in Fredericksburg, VA. God’s grace and strength give her the ability to deal with chronic back pain, depression, headaches, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at http://www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.