In the shadows of our far-distant past on the slopes of the mountain of the Jordan valley, there stood three trees. One sunny day, when all the world looked peaceful and in harmony, they were discussing their destinies.
" Ah," said the first tree, " I have long thought of my wishes for the future. I hope to be hauled down these mountains and into the city of Jerusalem, and there to be cut up and made into a beautiful paneling for the Temple. How I could be of service to God, if only that would happen! For think how many men and women would come to the Temple to worship, and see my beautiful grain and be helped to understand how majestic is the God who created me!"
" Well, my desire," said the second tree, " is to serve men and women. I hope to be taken to the seacoast and be made into a sleek sailing ship to sail across the Mediterranean. I would carry men and women to new adventures, and bring back the riches if Rome to our land."
The third tree lifted up its branches and said, " I want to be left alone. I want to stand here on the mountain, as straight as I can, and let my top branches reach heavenward, so that all men who see me, as they walk on the mountain road, may lift up their eyes to the skies and think of God. And in the summer's heat, they might find comfort under the shade of my arms.
Well, the axe came to the first, and it was hauled down the hill full of its high hopes. The carpenters received its lumber and began to build. Then the high hopes of being paneling for the Temple were dashed. For the tree instead was used to build a stable in the town of Bethlehem. The cows and the donkeys rubbed against the lumber, and the wind and the rain beat the boards and weathered them. Oh, the shame that the tree felt! Only an old stable!
The second tree was also chopped down. It found itself, as it had hoped, in the shipbuilder's shop. Its high hopes also vanished, for instead of becoming a vessel on the Mediterranean, it became a fishing boat on shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Its life was full of despair at being daily filled with oily, smelly fish. The shame of being so insignificant!
The third tree remained long after on the hillside, as it had hoped to do, But finally the axe bit into its trunk, and it was hauled down the hill to Jerusalem.
Its high hopes were smothered when it found itself being shaped into- of all things-three crosses-the instruments of death for the common criminal. The shame! The sad reality of such a destiny! AUTHOR UNKNOWN
I've heard this story a few times throughout the years, I thought it would be a good one to post around Christmas time. The birth of Jesus is such a beautiful thing to celebrate, but it's something that gets covered so easily. People push Him, His love, and His gift of salvation away so easily. " ...While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough-because there was no room for them at the inn." Luke 2:6-7
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