Thursday, November 1, 2012

What Dreams Are Made Of

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” Jeremiah 29:11.

I read the most beautiful folk tale this morning that demonstrates Jeremiah 29:11.  It is such a poignant story about the promises of God and the wisdom of His plans for each of our lives.  I hope you are blessed by this old folk tale.

Once there were three little trees, with big dreams.  The first tree dreamed of being carved into a beautiful and ornate treasure box that would hold the greatest treasure the world had ever seen.  The second tree dreamed of being fashioned into a great ship that would sail the Seven Seas.  The third tree didn’t want to leave its home on the mountaintop.  “I want to grow so tall that when people see me, they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God.”

One day when the young saplings had grown into tall, strong trees, three woodcutters climbed the mountain.  As they cut down the first tree, it could barely contain its excitement – it just knew it would soon fulfill its destiny.  But instead of an elaborate treasure chest, workers made the tree into a plain, ordinary feedbox for farm animals.  The tree felt bitterly disappointed.  The second tree got made into a ship, but not the kind to crest the waves of mighty oceans.  It became just a simple fishing vessel, floating in a lake – not the stuff dreams are made of.  The third tree, to its horror and dismay, also got chopped down, cut into wooden beams, and then left to gather dust in a lumberyard.  ‘All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountaintop and point to God,’ it moaned.

Time passed and the trees forgot their dreams, until one night when a young woman placed her baby in the animal feedbox – and the first tree knew that indeed it carried the greatest treasure on earth.  Another night, a tired man and his friends crowded onto the little fishing boat.  They got halfway across the lake when a terrible storm blew in, threatening to tear the boat to pieces.  The tired man stood up and said, “Peace, be still.”  The second tree knew then that it was carrying the King of heaven and earth.  One Friday morning the third tree felt itself yanked from the woodpile and dragged through city streets, where crowds shouted insults.  The tree felt cruel and ugly when it realized it had become an instrument of torture.  Soldiers nailed a man’s hand and feet to its beams.  But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy, the tree stood tall, knowing that from now on, it would forever point people to God.’

As we spiritually mature and grow we cannot be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ until we allow ourselves to be cut down and refashioned into the instruments of God.  If we surrender our own hopes and dreams and trust in God’s plans for our lives we become part of God’s story instead of writing our own.  

Much like our little trees, we carry the treasure of God within our hearts, we carry the power of God within our lives and our faith points to God because of Christ.

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