One of my favorite things about our house is the fact that it's surrounded by trees. Lots of mature trees.
Over the years I've heard people say their souls are fed by different aspects of God's creation. The seaside, with the crashing waves and water as far as the eye can see, inspires many people. Or the mountains, with their majestic peaks. For me, soul food has always been provided by trees.
A couple of weeks ago, though, a soul-sickening sound rent the air as I was making my morning coffee. Creeaaakkk—crash! A quick trip to the back door revealed the source of the noise:
A huge pine had been blown down.
Here you can see that it fell across our back fence. What's hidden in this photo is the fact that the tree stretched at least 20 feet into the woods behind our house.
Now all that remains of this beautiful old tree is a pile of enormous logs.
As it turned out, this particular tree had some rot at its core. As we surveyed the damage, I uttered a prayer of thanksgiving. Honestly, it looked as if an angel had guided the tree to fall in the direction that would cause the least harm to our property.
As you can imagine, though, the loss of this tree had us scurrying to check out the health of other trees on our property, especially the pines.
This photo, taken last summer, shows the trunk of one of the oldest trees on our property:
The tree experts determined that this tree was healthy, but they warned that if a wind storm were to take it down, it would likely fall squarely on top of the house.
And so, sadly, it had to come down. I watched the operation with sorrow.
Where once stood a beautiful old-growth pine—perhaps as old as 100 years!—now stands only a hole in the earth.
As I mourned the passing of the tree, I couldn't help but think how often our lives involve choices like this. Although it wrenched my heart to lose one of my beloved trees, how much worse would it be to suffer the damage if it were to fall?
It's easy to wish that life would proceed without this kind of choice, to hope that no such sacrifice would ever be necessary. But that's not reality. Even though tough choices may be painful, they must be made.
In many ways, life is a series of small sacrifices made in faith that the greater good obtained by making them will be worth the price.
Thank God that we have His spirit to guide us as we go!