“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all things which fill it; Let the field be exultant, and all that is in it! Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy before the Lord, for He comes, for He comes to judge and govern the earth! He shall judge the world with righteousness and justice and the peoples with His faithfulness and truth.”
(Psalm 96:11-13, Amplified Study Bible)
“Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy before the Lord.”
What a beautiful image these words create. Isaiah spoke of the “trees clapping their hands” in praise of God’s redemptive action for His people (Isaiah 5:12). We know that the Lord rides on the wings of the wind, the clouds are His chariots, He holds the sea in the palm of His hand – nature declares the Glory of the Lord!!
These thoughts were running through my mind today as I walked my dog, Blue, down a lazy country road in our beloved mountains. Aged split-railed fencing, silvered by the sun, ran alongside us. A canopy of trees interlocked their fingers above us, while others “clapped their hands” in the gentle breeze.
And then the Lord began to open my eyes so I could see.
I could see the trees as people.
There were the evergreen branches of the pine and cedar sharing the forest turf with oaks and locusts whose branches remained stark and vulnerable. Spring lay in wait around the corner, but only the evergreens revealed its new life.
Same forest. Same sun. Same rain. But some trees flourished while others lay dormant through the bitter cold of the winter.
I began to see the trees as people with souls – some flourishing, others just waiting for a taste of new life…a thirsty spirit, a broken heart, a mind clouded with anxiety and depression. And the sad thing to me was that those souls lying dormant were surrounded by the ones clapping their hands and singing for joy.
Same world. Same Son. Same Holy Spirit. But some of the people flourished while others lay dormant through the bitterness of life.
How can it be? We have so much to give to a hurting world! We stand in line at the grocery story noticing the etched lines of enormous stress on the cashier’s face. The elderly man on the park bench fiddles with his wedding band while a tear escapes his saddened eyes. The young woman stands on the street corner looking for someone to fill the void in her life because she has never been told of the ONE Who loves her enough to die for her and give her new life.
And all the while the Church goes about singing for joy and clapping our hands.
“For He comes, for He comes to judge and govern the earth! He shall judge the world with righteousness and justice and the peoples with His faithfulness and truth.”
Sweet friends, people need the Lord.
Father, Thank You for sharing this with me. Help us see the world around us with Your eyes. Help us realize that perhaps the greatest form of worship we can offer You is to share Your love with someone else. Open our eyes to see their pain, their fear. Give us courage to step out of our comfort zones to meet the needs of the world around us. The time of Your coming is drawing near, Lord. There is much work to be done. Anoint us with Your power to do Your bidding. Thank You, Father.