Tree Problems

Author: A. W. Smith — Host: Dylan KraayenbrinkPosted on: September 7, 2023

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Tree Problems
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READ: JOHN 5:17; ROMANS 8:18-28, 38-39; REVELATION 21:1-5

Have you ever stopped to really look at a piece of wood? Straight lines, intermingled with lots of circles and twists—that’s the diverse beauty you’ll see in wood grain. And those circles and twists, called burls or knots, tell a story.

Burls are found where a branch went out from the tree trunk. They can also be caused by a problem in the life of the tree—like when insects invaded a certain section, or when the tree had a disease. Isn’t it interesting that, even though trees experience problems, their Creator brings beauty out of those difficult times?

Jesus, who is our Creator God, does the same for us as humans. He sees the brokenness our sin causes in our world, and He weeps with us. Because He is such a good God and is free from sin, He does not sit idly by, doing nothing about suffering. He is at work. He stepped into our world, sinless and full of compassion and mercy. Jesus met us in our suffering with love, and He suffered for us. He died on the cross for our sins; then He rose again to defeat death, ascended to the throne of heaven, and is with us now—through His Spirit, His Word, and His people. Jesus will one day return to make all things new, completely free from the effects of sin. In the meantime, we get to see glimpses of the healing and wholeness He is bringing to our hearts and to all of creation. Simply put, He is taking even the worst things and making them work out for His good purposes.

It hurts when we experience difficult things, but we can trust that Jesus will be with us through every hurt and sorrow, and He will work all things for good. One day, all the hurt will only exist as a beautiful burl in the grain of the story of humanity. One day, everyone who trusts in Jesus will dwell together with Him in the new heavens and earth, forever free from sin and the suffering it brings. So, no matter what burls and knots we encounter in our lives, we can rest in Jesus’s love for us—a love so strong it can bring beauty even out of suffering. • A. W. Smith

• What have been some of the burls and knots in your life? How might Jesus be bringing beauty out of this suffering? How did Jesus bring beauty out of His own suffering? (John 20:24-28)

• In moments when it’s hard to see Jesus’s presence in the midst of pain, who are trusted Christians in your life you can talk with, such as friends, parents, therapists, pastors, etc.?

The creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. Romans 8:21 (NLT)