Anyone who is among the living has hope-even a live dog is better off than a dead lion. Ecclesiastes 9:4
I found this dead tree at Reelfoot Lake State Park in Northern Tennessee. The contrast stuck me in an awesome way so I had to take a picture of it. In fact thinking about the implications of this photo brought me to tears. If you look at the branches, they look like they are doing everything they can to find some kind of life source to keep the tree alive. The trees around this tree are all still alive and have strong leaves growing on them. Their branches are not in a wild frenzy like the dead tree’s. I can’t tell you what caused this tree to die, but it had to have been some kind of disease. The tree is firmly planted in the middle of a lake, so it did not lack water. It was planted in the same soil as the other trees, so it got all the nutrients it needed to live. Something happened to cause it’s death.
Just like in our life there are people all around us in every day life that are walking dead. They have no clue as to their situation. They go on day after day with the same routine and their goal is collect a pay check and to retire comfortably. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with a worthy goal, but there is life around them just like the trees. When something tragic strikes they are ready like the dead tree to reach out and find someone or something to cling to and bring life to them. What’s interesting is our churches are filled with them. If the enemy can get our people to live a mediocre life then they are like this dead tree. He doesn’t have to work that hard if they are in full blown mediocrity.
We need to take a clue from these trees and do more than what they did. Now I know scientifically the tress could not do anything to help this other tree out. But we humans can take care of people around us and love and take care of them as God loves and takes care of us. We may be the only Jesus they see both inside and outside of the church. There is no way to really know who is hurting and who is just doing the bear minimum in life to get by. What we can do is inspire people to change and be awesome examples. The best way to do this is just to start encouraging as many people as you can. Just love them. It took me to almost death to find out how to really love myself and other people. It first took me to love myself. Then when that happened I started loving people. My ministry now is to help the fallen Christian soldiers along the way find the way. I fell off the path a long time ago with my health. It took a life giving atmosphere to bring me back from the dead. As the above scripture says, there is hope for those that are alive. If you have just one person hoping for you then that is enough of a life giving atmosphere to turn your life around. We can’t allow people to be like the dead tree, looking for someone to reach out to, but not finding anyone there. As my Pastor has said not too long ago, God uses people to help people. Who knows, one day you may be the person God uses to stand in the gap between life and death and reaching out your hand to pull someone away from death. Always look for the opportunities, if you encourage, you will find them.