This Thanksgiving break my husband and I traveled to Washington state to visit my family. Washington’s nickname is the Evergreen State and you can see why!
While visiting Mt. Ranier we went on a hike.
During our hike my Uncle pointed out several trees that had grown by taking root in other dead tree trunks. These fallen logs are called “nursing logs” and provide protection and a safe environment for young seedlings to grow and flourish.
We saw several of these nursing logs not only sustaining but life but providing a foundation for some of the largest trees in the forest to thrive.
My eyes were transfixed by the nursing logs. I stared at their fallen majesty, glimpsing a reflection of the past year.
I thought about what had died over the past year: two sweet babies and our dreams: Our dream of a wedding followed by a healthy baby.
Majestic trees had to fall to nurture new seedlings. They may have been the tallest and strongest trees in the forest. Their leafy branches might have soared high above the rest.
Yet, even as the tree is falling, hope is beginning for a small seedling who is looking for a place to land. This seedling will find sustenance and reach the fullness of its potential.
Life has begun for this gentle seedling through the death of another.
Life comes from death.
It is the hope of the Gospel. (Romans 3:23-26)
I needed some hope. I had taken another negative pregnancy test a few days before and the questions which followed my miscarriages had sprung with renewed force:
“Can anything good come from this tragedy?” “Where is God and what is He doing?”
I knew the right answers: God isn’t the author of tragedy. He is the author of life.
But I needed fresh hope. Anyone else need that today?
Gazing at the nursing logs, I was reminded of the miracle that occurred after God showed Ezekiel a valley filled with dry bones and then asking him a perplexing question,
“Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3)
If I was Ezekiel, my first reaction would have been no way! Just like if I saw a fallen log in the forest and someone asked me prior to my “nursing log lesson” if that tree could live and produce life. I would have definitely said, “no that tree is dead, its not giving life to anything.”
Ezekiel wisely answered, “Sovereign Lord, you know.” (Ez. 37:4) Then he was told to prophesy to the bones, as Ezekiel spoke life to the deadest of the dead he witnessed an amazing sight:
“So I prophesied as I was commanded, and the breath came into them; they lived and stood on their feet, an extremely great army.” (Ez 37:10)
This passage gives me the chill bumps every time I read it! Not only were dry bones brought back to life but they were turned into something powerful: an army.
There has been death this year, but I will see life. There has been heartbreak but I have experienced the Healer. Dreams have been shattered, but a new dream is taking root within me.
Today I am clinging to these promises:
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.” (2 Corinthians 4:11)
I don’t know where my seedling is falling. I can’t understand how something vast and powerful can come after death. But I trust there will be a seedling. I trust the One who makes the seedling. I trust Him to bring life from every fallen log.