New Life out of Old
On a hike I come across an old, fallen tree, its wood rotting. Out of it grows a sapling. The sapling is not growing out of the ground; it’s growing out of the tree. New life out of old.
Some might say it’s like reincarnation, but no, the sapling is not a rebirth of the dead tree. It grows from a seed off a standing tree and finds its nourishment in the decaying wood of the fallen tree. The dead tree only provides the place for the new tree to grow.
We often talk about this kind of thing happening when a person dies or steps aside, and someone new rises up.
But it also happens when we suffer, when we fail, when we lose something or someone precious.
Think of times you’ve suffered—physically, emotionally, professionally, or through economic or natural disaster. You may not have deserved it, and it was awful.
Think of times you’ve failed at something—despite your best efforts, it was a flop, or it blew up in your face. You did your best at that job or a relationship, and things fell apart.
Think of times you lost something—maybe your wallet or purse job, or maybe the life of someone you loved. This thing or person of greatest value is gone, never to return.
Think of any of those misfortunes, failures, or losses as that old, fallen tree. They’re dead and rotting. Then this: Romans 8:28 promises that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”
In that death of something, a seed is planted. It sprouts. And it becomes a new tree. At first the sapling nestles in the decayed wood of the old. But its roots will grow and probe and find earth, into which it will bore down on its own and grow into another great tree.
What would that seed be for you? And what would that new tree be in your life?