• July 19, 2024

Blessings Tree – A Fantasy Short Story by Mary Bendickson

I pick up a golden leaf. On it is written in flowing script ‘Peace’. On the next one is ‘Hope’. Three more: ‘Joy’, ‘Love’, ‘Patience’. More leaves rain down on me from my backyard blessings tree. ‘Kindness’, ‘Self-Control’, ‘Gentleness’. So many to choose from. I want them all. Please, help me decide. ‘Wisdom’, ‘Knowledge’, ‘Health’, ‘Prosperity’, ‘Abundance’, ‘Talent’. How is one to figure it all out? Is there a limit? I shouldn’t be greedy. ‘Generosity’, ‘Unselfishness’, ‘Common Sense’, ‘Grace’, ‘Mercy’, ‘Foresight’, ‘Discernment’, ‘Clarity’, ‘Compassion’. Are they never ending? How many will there be? Can I save some for later in case I need them more at another time?

Very few instructions came with it when I acquired this rarity. I certainly do not want to abuse the privilege of ownership. It was so long ago, now. I barely remember. No leaves were even on it for quite a while. The tree cycled through many seasons before faint scribbles were noticed on the undersides of the leaves whenever fall began. I still thank goodness I had a gardener willing to rake up the abundant foliage as it cascaded down during the season. He was the one who first noticed the script was readable. How was that even possible?

‘Intelligence’, ‘Family’, ‘Spouse’, ‘Children’, ‘Career’. Those were a few of the first ones the befuddled worker brought to me for my inspection. I know those were things I often wished I had. And for the most part those wishes came true. I came from a loving family, I had enough intelligence to do well in school. I got married young and was blessed with four wonderful children and eventually got to start a career I loved. I always thanked my lucky stars and the Good Lord for granting what I wanted.

Ooooh! Forget about the lucky stars. There is likely no such thing. But the Good Lord? Could He have a hand in this good fortune? Maybe I need to go back to His Good Book and study again some of the long ago Bible stories I learned as a child. As a grown adult sometimes I brush aside all those important messages because I get so swept away trying to negotiate the necessities of living and caring for my loved ones. So exactly when I need Him most, I ignore His helping hand. Yet there He waits for me still with His steadfast promises.

You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.” Nehemiah 9:17.

I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah31:3.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

So I remember to ask forgiveness for neglecting my faithfulness to Him. Imagine for a moment if the only things we were blessed with daily were the things we remembered to thank Him for daily. A good night’s sleep, waking up refreshed, sunshine or seasonable weather, shelter, a comfortable environment, rain to grow crops, water for washing, clothing, nourishing breakfast, lunch and dinner for most of us, loved ones, good health, a stable mind, education, capable professionals helping with all our needs, a means to make a living, means to get to a means to make a living and on and on… So thank You, Lord, for your divine providence.

And he fulfills even more promises: ‘Light’, ‘Life’, ‘Redemption’

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

And we put our trust in Him: ‘Freedom’, ‘Liberty’, ‘Peace of Mind’

I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2

Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust Your commands.” Psalm 119:66

As a result, we strive to do His will: ‘Charity’, ‘Goodness’, ‘Good Will Towards Men’

Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, a good teacher, and patient.” 2 Timothy 2:24

Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.” Proverbs 14:21

All words to live by and from which to prosper.

Consider my unusual tree in my backyard that each fall rains down its golden leaves with gems of messages engraved on their undersides. How is it happening?

I remember a children’s song we would sing in Sunday School when we read the parable about the foolish man who built his house upon the sand and the wise man who built his house upon the rock. The sand would represent the world or our own flawed hopes, dreams or expectations we can take care of everything by ourselves. The rock would be relying on the Lord, Jesus Christ to be our salvation from sin, death and the devil. When the rains, or trouble came, the floods rose up and the house on the sand fell flat. Whereas, when trouble came the house built on the rock stood firm.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand and the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down as the floods came up.

The rains came down as the floods came up.

The rains came down as the floods came up and the house on the sand fell flat.

The wise man built his house upon the Rock.

The wise man built his house upon the Rock.

The wise man built his house upon the Rock and the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down as the floods came up.

The rains came down as the floods came up.

The rains came down as the floods came up and the house on the rock stood firm.

So build your life on the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Build you life on the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Build your life on the Lord, Jesus Christ and the blessings will tumble down.

The blessings come down as your prayers go up.

The blessings come down as your prayers go up.

The blessings come down as your prayers go up so build your life on the Lord.”

Ah,ha! Maybe this explains the mystery of the tree. Troubles and crisis confront us daily. Sometimes big ones, sometimes small. Together they can create a flood that threatens to wash us away. If we turn to the Lord, our Rock in the storm, to help us navigate and withstand the onslaught we can survive. We only need to ask using prayer to talk to Him.

So as our prayers go up, the blessings rain down. Luckily, this doesn’t only happen in the season of autumn. In the case of my tree that is symbolic. A reminder that those blessings are granted to me continuously. A reminder that I need to pray continuously. I need to thank Him continuously for all the good things He grants every day.

The world is a sinful environment full of corruption and danger and poor management that affects everyone living in it even those trying to follow God’s commandments and live righteous lives according to the way He would want us to exist. We need to repent of our numerous sins because we fall short. But Christ has taken our sin upon Himself and died the death we deserved, defeated the evil one so that we may live with Him in heaven one day.

Blessings like ‘Grace’ and ‘Mercy’ come down to God’s people but the unrighteous people also benefit from the gifts He gives. Beneficial rain falls on all people. Likewise ‘Salvation’ is for all people. It is a free gift. One needs only to repent of their sins and ask for ‘Forgiveness’.

So when my blessing tree rains down blessings I gather them up and save them for a rainy day. And I say a prayer of ‘Thanksgiving’.

Trả lời

Email của bạn sẽ không được hiển thị công khai. Các trường bắt buộc được đánh dấu *