The many types of trees in the world can be simplistically placed into two categories: evergreens, which keep their leaves or needles all year long; and deciduous, which lose their leaves in the fall and do not put on new leaves again until the spring.
What does this mean for visual
It means that in the summer, when all the trees are
green, both categories of trees are equal: They all portray varying but
beautiful shades of green. In the spring and fall, however, I would say
the deciduous trees definitely have an advantage: They are covered in
flowers or leaf buds in the spring, and they are covered with beautiful
reds, yellows, oranges and browns in the fall. On the other hand, the
evergreens have the utmost advantage in the winter, when they are the
only greenery we can generally see amongst all the bare-bones trunks and
branches of the deciduous trees.
God gives us diversity, and I,
being someone who loves the random facelift to the living room or the
occasional new curtains and bedspread in the bedroom, am very happy He
does. Just image how drab the winter months would be without the green
of the evergreens; and their green also provides beautiful variety to
the fall colours of the deciduous trees. Meanwhile, imagine how dull
early spring and fall would be without the vibrant colours of the
Winter is upon us in the northern hemisphere,
and although summer is here in the southern hemisphere, those living
south of the equator are also well familiar with the drab times of
winter. I would encourage all of you, in the dullest moments of the
winter months, to take a moment to look out the window. Notice the
evergreen trees, and thank God for planting something of beauty in an
otherwise dismal season.
Whether you live north or south of the
equator, however, and even if you live in a warm climate where there is
no real cold, drab winter season, you all know what I mean when I talk
about the winter of our lives. It doesn't really matter what the outside
thermometer reads, when troubles come, they throw us into the thralls of
"winter". Just like God created evergreen trees so that we can still
find beauty in the midst of winter, He has also placed "evergreens",
things of encouraging beauty, in the midst of the trials we go through.
What do these "evergreens" look like in the midst of trials?
1. Strength: "'My grace is
sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore
I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of
Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with
weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I
am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12:9-10 NIV)
what, we can count on God's "evergreen" of strength and power that is
actually perfected in our weakness!
Refuge: "God is our refuge and
strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear
though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart
of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains
tremble at its swelling." (Ps. 46:1-3 NIV)
It doesn't matter
how severe the trials, we do not need to fear, for God is our refuge!
3. Wisdom and counsel: "I
bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart
instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my
right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my
whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure." (Ps. 16:7-9
Even in the darkest valleys of our lives, God is there with
His wisdom and guidance.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our
affliction..." (2 Cor. 1:3 NIV)
Not only can we hope for
comfort in the dark times, but we can expect it, for God has
5. God will work all things
out for the good in the long run: "And we know that in all
things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been
called according to his purpose." (Rom. 8:28 NIV)
are just a very small handful of the "evergreens" God has placed in the
winter periods of our lives.
Sometimes when I look out the
window on a cold winter's day, my eyes are drawn only to the snow and
ice. I actually have to make my eyes search out the evergreens on my
property. In fact, sometimes I have to look beneath the snow to
see the evergreens. It is the same with the winter times of our lives.
Our focus can become so fixed on the problems that we overlook God's
comfort, His wisdom and hope, His refuge and strength. The drearier the
times may look, however, the more important it is to seek out those
"evergreens" God has given us. Think back. Count your blessings. Notice
where God's hand has been on your live and praise Him! For the God who
placed evergreen trees in the middle of winter has also promised to give
you what you need to come through every trial, no matter how harsh, in
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.