There is a particular tree that grows not far from where I live. I’ve had my eye on it for years. It’s tall with thick branches, provides great shade in the summer, and looks majestic even in the starkness of winter. In the Spring, an amazing transformation began to take place. No, I’m not referring to the sudden appearance of leaves. I’m referring to a vine that had made it’s way up the tree.
I know that at times a vine growing up a tree is not good news. It can choke it’s growth and even kill the tree but that is not the case with this particular vine. The tree has remained very healthy and, in fact, it’s beauty is enhanced by the presence of the vine. Each year I notice that the vine is taller and fuller than it was the year before. It’s thick with pink flowers which has, at this point in time, completely hidden the trunk of the tree. It’s absolutely gorgeous!
I’m not the only enthusiast for this tree. Often in my walks I notice that others are also stopping to admire the transformation that is taking place. I have speculated that some are gardeners and perhaps wondering if they can duplicate this beauty in their own yards.
As I was contemplating my tree I was reminded of the transformation that takes place in our character from the moment we invite Jesus Christ into our lives. In the beginning of our new life in Christ, transformation may not be obvious but as the years pass by, taking on the family resemblance of Jesus begins to take shape. In time, even others start to notice. Perhaps those younger in the faith stop to admire the Christ-likeness of one who is more mature in their walk with God. The transformation of Jesus, like a flowering vine that covers a tree with it’s beauty, is an encouragement to all who observe what takes place in our lives. Isn’t it exciting to think that the way we behave in everyday life could be the very encouragement that someone needs to continue “…working toward that day when we will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved us to be and wants us to be.” (paraphrase mine) Philippians 3:12
It’s not a scary thing to think that someone may be watching us; it’s an honor and a joyful responsibility. When the vine of Jesus flowers in our lives, it’s a beauty to behold in us all.
“…we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more.” II Corinthians 3:18