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A Tale of Three Trees

Once there were three trees on a hill in a deep forest. They were good neighbours. In spite of being located in a secluded area where nobody trod or took notice of them, they had dreams and visions. Their favorite pastime in the cool lazy afternoon was to share their aspirations.

The first tree said, "Someday I will be a treasure chest. I will be filled with gold, silver and precious stones. I will be decorated with intricate carvings. Everyone will get to see my beauty."

Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the oceans to see all of the earth. Everyone will be safe in me because I am strong and trustworthy."

Finally the third tree said, "I want to be the tallest and strongest tree in the woods. People will see me on the top of the hill. They will admire my mighty branches and praise their Creator. I will be the greatest tree of all time. People will always remember me."

After a few years of fervent prayers, the three trees were greatly delighted when a group of woodsmen came to chance upon them. Then one wood cutter came to the first tree, he said, "This looks like a great tree. I should sell it to the carpenter." True enough, he cut it down and sold it to the carpenter. The tree was happy. It thought that the carpenter would turn it into a precious treasure box.

At the second tree, another woodsman said, "This looks like a solid tree. I should sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy. It thought that it was on its way to becoming a mighty ship.

When the woodsmen came to the third tree, the tree was frightened. It knew that if they cut it down, all its dreams would be shattered. Then one of the woodsmen said, "I'll take this one." He cut it down and stored it in his backyard.

When the first tree arrived at the carpenter’s workshop, it was made into a feed box for animals. It was then placed inside a barn. Instead of precious stones, it was filled with cheap hay. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. Not for kings and queens but for some smelly fishermen in a sleepy fishing village. The third tree, though cut, was left untouched. As the years went by, all the three trees lost their hopes and visions. They even forgot their dreams.

Then one day, a man and woman came into the barn. She gave birth. The Baby was laid in the hay in the feed box made from the first tree. His Father in heaven could have made a crib for the Baby, but this little manger would be good enough. The tree felt the warm embrace of its Creator. It knew it was holding the greatest Treasure of all the earth.

About thirty years later, a group of men got into the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was so tired that He slept. While they were out on the waters, a great storm arose. The tree knew that it was not strong enough to keep those men safe. The twelve men woke the sleeping Man. He stood up and rebuked the storm. The storm stopped immediately. At this moment in time, the second tree knew that it was ferrying the King of kings and the Lord of lords. It was greatly honoured!

Finally someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets of Jerusalem. The people were mocking the Man Who was carrying it. When they came to a hill, the Man was nailed to the tree. He was then raised to die on that hill. The third tree tasted the agape love of God. The Saviour of the world had come to die for the sins of all mankind. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross - cherished and remembered by men and women throughout the ages.

This story reminds us that our dreams and visions do matter to God. Though they may not seem to be going our way, we are assured that our Heavenly Father has a greater purpose and plan for us. His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are more marvelous than our thoughts.

When we place our trust in Him, He will guard those desires of our hearts. Like these three trees, we will get more than what we think or imagine - more than wonderful, more than amazing, and beyond our wildest dreams. Though we may not always know what God has in store for us, we are sure of this: His ways are always the best for us.

Wait on the LORD and He will strengthen our hearts!