Saturday, February 27, 2010

Inspirations - The Three Trees

Here’s an old story that many of you have probably heard before. I've heard it a time or two myself, but had forgotten about it until I came across it on the internet the other day. The author is unknown to the best of my knowledge, and I decided to tell it here in my own words, rather than copy it exactly as I found it. Hope you enjoy it!
Once upon a time, there were three trees, standing on a hill in a forest. One day, the three trees were talking with one another about their hopes and dreams for the future.
“I,” began the first tree, “would like to be made into a fine treasure chest someday. I could be covered with intricate carvings and gold fittings and would be worthy of holding the greatest treasure ever known."
The second tree said, “I want to be made into a mighty sailing ship. I could carry kings and queens on long voyages across the seas and everyone would feel safe inside my strong hull."
Finally, the third tree said, “I want to grow to be the tallest and greatest tree in the forest. Everyone will be able to see me standing on the hill. When they look up to me, they will think of God and how close I am reaching to heaven, and I will always be remembered.
The three trees hoped and dreamed for many years, until finally one day, some woodsmen came to the part of the forest where they were standing.
The woodsmen looked at the first tree and said, “This looks like a fine tree. We can sell this tree to the carpenter.” The tree was happy at this because he knew the carpenter would build a fine treasure chest out of his wood.
Then the woodsmen came to the second tree and said, “This looks like a strong tree, we can sell it to the shipyard.” This made the second tree very happy because he knew that soon, he would be a mighty sailing ship.
Finally, the woodsmen came to the third tree and said, “This tree is very tall and straight, we will get much good lumber from it." The third tree was sad because he knew that his dream of being the tallest tree in the forest had ended.
But things did not go as the three trees had hoped. When the first tree got to the carpenter’s shop, instead of becoming a fine treasure chest, he was made into a feed box, and set in a barn for the animals to eat out of. At the shipyard, the second tree was made into a small fishing boat instead of a mighty sailing ship. The third tree was cut into long pieces and stored away in a warehouse, soon to be forgotten. The grand dreams that the three trees had of doing great and wonderful things, had come to an end.
Many years passed before, one starry night, a man and a woman came into the barn where the feedbox stood. The woman gave birth and they wrapped the baby in cloths and laid him in the feedbox. The man wished he could have a fine crib for his son, but this manger would have to do. As kings and wisemen came to see the baby, the tree realized that something special was happening. His dream of holding the greatest treasure ever known had finally come true.
Many more years passed, and the little fishing boat was caught in a sudden storm. The fishermen aboard were very scared,except for one, who was sleeping. The frightened men woke the sleeping one. He rose and held his hands out to the turbulent waters and said "Peace." The sea immediately became calm and the second tree realized that he was indeed carrying the King of kings.
Still more years passed, and the long-forgotten third tree was finally brought out of the warehouse. His pieces were fastened together and he was dragged down a street by a wounded man while crowds of people jeered at them. When they reached the top of a hill, the man was nailed to the tree, lifted into the air, and left to die. The people looked up to the tree and could not help but think of God as they witnessed the crucifixion. From that day on, the third tree was always remembered with great honor.
God’s ways are not our ways. We all want to do great and wonderful things with our lives; become successful and be looked up to, but God may have very different plans for us. We will, undoubtedly, do great and wonderful things, if we only trust in Him and follow where He leads. They may not be the kinds of things that bring us fortune and fame. In fact, they almost certainly will not, but they will be great and wonderful in the eyes of God, and what greater reward could there be?

It’s so easy to become discouraged in this world, feeling like we haven't done anything useful with our lives. I am probably more guilty of this than most. Sometimes I look at where I am now and think "Where did it all go wrong?" I always have to stop and remind myself that this is exactly where God wants me. He has his reasons, even if I don’t know what they are. It's so hard sometimes, listening for the whispering voice of God, when the whole world is screaming "Failure!”, but the voice is there. Sometimes it's enough just knowing that it's there, even if I can't quite make out what it's saying.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the story of “The ThreeTrees” as much as I did. Was it an accident that I came across this story at this particular moment in my life? Nope. God was just saving it for a special occasion. He's kind of cool that way, isn't He?

Psalms 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. This was definitely worth waiting for and a very special story. Bet mom cries. :-)

    What is so ironic, is I've always felt like God has me doing just what he wants, even though others seem to think I'm not where or who I should be, I'm content knowing I'm where God wants me to be.

    I'd love to post this on Facebook but only with your permission. Maybe more people need to be touched by your story than just me.