Thoughts on Prayer: Before and After
…They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to take a trip with a wonderful friend, Alexa James, Development Director of the WellHouse. Our ultimate destination was High Falls Assembly of God in Hartford, AL. We made a stop in Troy…to see her son march in the band at Troy State. Our next stop was Geneva, AL where we spent the night. While talking with the manager at breakfast, I inquired about a black and white print of a beautiful oak tree located in Robert Fowler Park. If you are ever in Geneva… and get lost looking for the park… ask for directions to The Junction…not the Park. You will be corrected. Anyway, it is known as the Constitution Oak. It is approximately 300 years old. In 1981 it had a grandeur limb spread of 168 feet.[i]
I mentioned to Alexa we needed to check out this oak tree before driving to Hartford. Coincidentally, God had been speaking to her through Isaiah 61 very recently. My request became more of a must. The tree is lovely. Pictures do not do it justice. It was time to leave and we realized we didn’t know exactly how to get to Hartford. We sort of came in the back way to the park. I was informed when asking for the directions to the Park a.k.a. The Junction there would be a group of men holding their weekly meeting to solve the world’s problems in the parking lot across from the tree. They were there. We asked one of them for directions to the main road. He graciously gave us the route and a profound statement. His summary of the tree was: “It’s only just come into its own. It’s just recently blossomed.” A 300 year old tree has just recently blossomed and come into its own?! Really? Looking at the tree, trying to wrap my mind around the given time frame, I asked him, “How recently?” His answer: “The last 45 years.”
Some things just take time…like an oak tree coming into its own and blossoming during the last 45 years of its 300 years on earth. Do you feel like you have been waiting a long time to be released into the next phase of your life? The waiting is an integral part of the process. It takes time to grow into an oak tree. Notice the pictures below. According to the gentleman with whom we spoke, the one on the left is a good likeness of the tree back in 1968. The one on the right is the how the oak tree looks today. It takes time to grow lofty, strong, magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God (Amplified Bible Isaiah 61:3). You will weather seasonal change, storms, strong winds, pests and more. As you grow into that mighty oak of righteousness you will provide shade, shelter, a place for others to enjoy and kids to play on and beauty. People will come to you. Actually, they will be drawn to you. Your story will precede you. Be blessed in the process of becoming the display of His splendor He has called you to be.