Proverbs 3:18 New Living Translation (NLT)
Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.
I went back to the original shape of the Tree of Life Cross that I made for my Great-Grandmother over 20 years ago for this one. What inspired the Holding On design was a Sweet Gum Tree. I went to a nursery I worked at back in college to pick out some trees to plant around the barn. We need some trees here :) I was looking for Sweet Gum trees since they actually have leaf color change or fall foliage this deep in the South. Fall is my favorite time of year by the way.
These Sweet Gum trees were in small pots and wee growing skinny and tall because they were wedged in under larger trees. They were doing their best by growing straight up looking for the sunlight. We brought them home before a Tropical Storm hit and planted them right after. We planted them in full sun. It was a very hot start to autumn with temperatures in the mid-90’s daily. Right away the trees went into shock and shed nearly all their leaves. The trees were now holding on to a handful of leaves. As we nursed them daily, new buds began to appear. Everyday I went out to water them I knew they had a chance to make it if they were still holding on to those few little leaves.
God placed a wisdom In those trees beyond our understanding. Those trees knew to shed most of their leaves and concentrate on root development. They held on to those few little leaves to gather what sunlight they could but not over stress themselves as they did this.
How much is this like our lives with God! When we go into shock, it’s a chance for us to obtain growth and Wisdom. We shed the things that are outwardly seen as beautiful or pleasing in other peoples eyes (like those leaves) and concentrate on growing our roots into Him. When we do this we may lose others in our lives who see us changing too. They may give up on us at first. But, this is our opportunity to show them how to survive with God’s nourishment . They’ll see us holding on to the Wisdom God has engrained in us and they’ll see us not giving up. Just like the Sweet Gum didn’t give up. We can Witness through this Wisdom. Hold on to it!