by Rev Don Schatz
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
All the trees…will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall.
Ezekiel 17:24, New International Version
This verse from Ezekiel comes at the end of a paragraph of promise. The Lord promises to tear down the nations (tall trees) that trouble Israel, and replant Israel on the hilltops of the Promised Land. The low tree (Israel) will grow tall in the Lord’s blessing.
Now, for those of you who are Lord of the Rings fans, I don’t know if you can read Ents (like the character Treebeard) into this passage of Scripture, but those tree-shepherds of literary lore, as cool as I may think they are, pale in comparison to the Tree-Shepherd that is our God.
In the midst of quite tall Redwood trees stands a low tree indeed, leaves brown in the grip of autumn-turning-to-winter. Nature is joining the Word of the Lord to proclaim the Lord’s promise. “I am on your side,” says the Lord. “I am on your side.”
That is the word for you today. That is God’s reminder for you, from his heart to yours. It is not a platitude, though I admit it can seem that way at times. I have been there. I know the truth of how believing, trusting the Lord, can be a struggle. Perhaps you do too. Perhaps you have ‘been there’ as well. Perhaps you are there now. In the midst of winter, a winter-sorrow can claim the soul. Or try to. It cannot be victorious. It cannot. Because the Lord says to you today, “I am on your side.”
The Lord our God is indeed a ‘celestial Ent,’ shepherding the trees he plants on the mountain tops. I am talking about you. The season of the year, or of the soul, matters not. The promise of the Lord to be with you always stands strong and tall in the midst of your life.
Look at the trees around you today. Look. Embrace the Lord’s promise through our ancient brother Ezekiel. Trust.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO