It was nearly sunset, I was so excited to return to Tennessee to see again the most beautiful tree that I had ever seen. The massive tree grew exactly in the center, on the very top of a small steep hill. It was so tall that its branches spread out like a canopy blocking out the sky. As I approached I felt like I was entering a cathedral whose vaulted ceiling showered down silence and peace. The trunk was a massive 14 feet in diameter, which calculates to an age of over 200 years. I just stood in awe that the Lord had preserved this tree for me to see on that day two weeks ago.
Lately, you see, I had noticed a growing feeling of fear and anxiousness in myself. The onslaught of evil seemed to be blocking out my Sun of Righteousness. I know that it relates to a new habit of watching the daily news, which I have now abandoned. But even more, I can’t stand the idea that evil appears to be winning in so many ways.
We are seeing Luke 21:10-11 happening right before our eyes: great earthquakes, famines, pestilences (ebola), and even the appearance of two blood red moons in less than a year.
But even worse, we are seeing what is described in Psalm 2, the rebellion of the nations, even America, where the nations rage, and the kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together,against the Lord and His Anointed. But what is God’s response? Psalm 2:4 says, “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them, and He says, I have installed My King upon Zion, My Holy mountain.”
How do we, who are believers, overcome? We remember Psalm 1:2, which tells us we are to delight in the law, the Torah of the Lord, and to meditate (to mutter or groan) on it day and night.
How do you meditate? You practice the presence of the Lord. You pray the Scripture itself. Write it down and speak the Scripture out loud until you have it memorized. Remember that Hebrews 4:12 says, “The Word of God is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrows, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
We also overcome by remembering our position: we too are installed on Mt. Zion as trees. Here is the rest of the tree story. Psalm 1:3 says, “He is (You are) like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does he prospers. The wicked not so.”
My Tennessee tree has born fruit, for beneath its boughs lies a tiny cemetery of fewer than three families. The original stones are so worn with age that the Historical Society has replaced them with new stones so that the names would not be lost.
On one tiny stone it is written, “Here lies the Infant Shipley, resting in the arms of Jesus.” This little one, of a short life, still bears witness 200 years later on the earth that Jesus Christ is still Lord.
This is our future and our epitaph. Our lives will bear witness that Yeshua is Lord for eternity.