Monday, March 24, 2008

In the Shadow

"Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:7-8

       It's now officially spring. Not because the calendar says so, but because the flowers and trees say so. One of my favorite trees is the Flowering Dogwood (or Cornus florida.) I guess I like it because my parents like it. It is a beautiful flowering tree, but it has its limitations. It doesn't do well in places where it gets too much sunlight... so it tends to thrive in shady areas. You can find some dogwoods that can survive in open spaces, but these often lose the delicate, beautiful look that I enjoy about the trees. The Dogwoods here have just started blooming, and I'm enjoying seeing the flowering trees show their beauty. The kind of dogwoods I love to see in bloom have very few limbs, and are spread out like an old fashioned hand-fan. You'll often see Dogwoods grow like this when they're nearby a larger tree that provides shade from the sun.
    The Dogwood is not one of the larger trees, and it may not be able to stand on its own, but it is more beautiful than any tree I know of during the time it is in bloom. Other times of the year, it's easy to miss the Dogwood, as it's size is so small compared to the larger oaks, pines, hickory trees... While it's not the big beautiful shade tree, the dogwood may be one of the "smarter trees." It allows bigger trees to take on the majority of the hot sunlight during the summer, the ice and freezing precipitation during the winter, and the wind during storms. 
    As Christians, especially young Christians, we should strive to be like the Dogwood. Use God, and other Christians (especially older, mentor-type Christians), to be a refuge from the harshness of life. Life can be hard and confusing... when it is, it's nice to have something to help you through the struggles. I find a lot of comfort in the song "This is Our God" as performed by Chris Tomlin.

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