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Pastor Youngju Steven Kim
Rev. Steven Kim

 

Trees in the Evergreen State

Weeks ago, I had a late-summer vacation in Seattle, Washington. As you might know, the nickname of the state is the Evergreen State. Thanks to the warm current in the northern Pacific Ocean, the western region of the state stays relatively warm throughout the year. For example, the average temperature in winter is above 30 degrees while its summer season beckons tourists from around the country with its relatively cool weather. They seldom have snow in winter. Instead, a rainy season starts in fall which lasts all the way through April the following year. Oftentimes, raining is a daily event in winter. That explains why Starbucks Coffee was founded in Seattle.

Meanwhile, plants love the climate. Especially, it is the near-perfect climate for the trees to grow tall and green. However, the weather pattern imposes a side effect on them as well. In general, they do not take their roots deep into the ground due to the frequent rain. As a result, they tend to easily be uprooted by the strong wind. Unlike the much-blessed plants in the Evergreen State, the trees in the New England region must endure both cold weather in winter and droughts at times. As a result, they need to take roots deep into the ground for survival.

Friends, I think this can be a good analogy for the trials we face in life and what they can do on our souls. It explains why God allows us the trials and ordeals every now and then in our faith journey. He wants us to take root deep in the ground of our being, namely, the source of life. Otherwise, the tree of our faith might be uprooted when storms strike at us.

It is why Apostle James exhorts us to rejoice for trials: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

Also, Hebrews 12:6 says, “… because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.”

Friend, the trials you face in life are the sure reminder of God’s love for you. It might sound counter-intuitive but I recommend you embrace God’s perspective on them. The trials you wrestle with are meant to lead you to take root deep in God who loves you without sparing. Your tree of life will grow and green until it reaches your eternal home.

    

In His Peace...