If Trees could talk… A Walk in Balrath Woods

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On the return journey from Navan, County Meath recently we stopped for a short time at Balrath Woods, a beautiful spot throughout the seasons. Known locally as ‘Knockcomra,’ oak, beech, ash and spruce grow in these mixed woodlands, while lovely wildflowers carpet the depths of the woods. One tree in particular caught my eye – ‘the great beech.’ I don’t know how old this one is but my guess is that it has probably seen several centuries. How amazing to think that some trees, like the oak, can live for more than a thousand years! As a child I used to think how fascinating it would be if an ancient tree had eyes to see, ears to hear conversations – and a tongue to describe the people who had walked past it over the centuries. Fashion, language and terminologies, manners, customs, technology and life as a whole have changed dramatically over the centuries but some things never change…

The natural man’s need for salvation never changes; Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, and to day and for ever” – and the “Word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Hebrews 13v8, Isaiah 40v8)

“Heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away,” Jesus tells us in Mark 13v31.

Very high up in the beech tree I saw a name deeply carved into the bark and I wondered how long ago this was carved and whether the person who carved it was still alive today.

Surely we make our marks upon the earth – for good or for evil. We will never walk this short journey of life without leaving some sort of impression on the other lives we touch.

As I listened to the chorus of birdsong in this lovely unspoilt place, I thought on the beauty of the Lord’s creation and could only imagine the wonders of the Garden of Eden before the fall of mankind.

I looked beyond the trees where soft fluffy clouds were gathering in the blue sky.

Are you ready today, to meet the Lord, should He break through the clouds, to take those who belong to Him home to glory?

“Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth.” (1 Chronicles 16v33)

There are numerous references to trees (and indeed different species of trees) mentioned in the Bible but perhaps some of the most spiritually significant are those trees which are mentioned in parables and in the first and last books of the Bible – Genesis and Revelation.

How sad that mankind ate of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” but how marvellous that God has sent His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to save ‘to the uttermost’ those who trust in His finished work upon the cross of Calvary.

Trees have existed since those early days of creation and if ancient trees could talk, what stories they would tell us! They have been used as weapons, turned into paper, regrettably carved into articles of worship; used to make an ark of ‘gopher wood’ and the ark of the covenant; in the day of the battle of David and Absalom “the wood devoured more people than the sword;” they are a source of paper for the printed word, and once so long ago a large piece of wood was carried to a place which is called in the Hebrew “Golgotha.”

The Lord Jesus Christ suffered, died and rose again that we might have right to the tree of life.

“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they might have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city.” (Rev. 22v14)

Only in His strength can we “do His commandments,” so that we may be likened to the “man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. And he shall be like a tree planted by the river of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1 – 3)

Surely, our leaves shall never wither while we are walking in the perfect light of the Son.

O1

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