James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
The young boy was very inquisitive, and asked his wise father many questions. The boy’s father never tired of answering his son. The young boy asked: “Father, tell me the story about why there is only one mighty tree in the center of our village, when there used to be two? And why does the great tree not stand tall and true? And what happened to the other great tree that is no longer there?” The wise father began to tell the tale…
”My son, both trees grew tall and true for many years. Oh, how majestic and magnificent they were! People would travel great distances from many different lands to admire the two magnificent trees! Never had people seen such great trees!”
“Then one night, there was a horrible storm, and one of the great trees was struck by lightning. It survived, but it was now bent and not nearly as magnificent as it once had been. Certainly, it was not nearly as majestic as the uninjured tree. Ultimately, it continued to grow straight and tall once more, but you can see still the great scar the lightning strike left on the back of tree.”
“Many people still came great distances from many lands to see the great trees. They all still marveled at the one tree that still grew straight and tall. The injured tree continued to grow, but now, most people ignored the injured tree.”
“Then came the day of our annual festival. What a perfect day it was! The sun was shining and the sky was a bright blue. There was a light breeze, and the weather was absolutely perfect! Many people had traveled far from many lands to attend the festival. People were singing and dancing, children were playing and there were great entertainers! All agreed it was the finest festival they could ever remember.”
“Then, without warning, it happened. There was a loud crack and the great tree shuddered. The taller tree – the uninjured tree - fell over leaving a horrid, ugly cracked and jagged stump. Many people were killed, and what had been a great day of happiness and joy became a day of great mourning and suffering.”
“You see, my son, very early on in its life, the great, magnificent tree that had always grown so straight and tall had been infected by an illness that some trees get. Over the years, its outward appearance was strong and regal. It looked to everyone that it was the greatest of trees! Yet, over the years, the disease that had started in such a tiny way continued to infect the tree. No one tended to it and no one knew. The hidden disease continued to fester and grow. On the inside, the great tree continued to deteriorate. Finally, the hidden disease completely took over the tree, and it took only the slightest of breezes to knock it down.”
“When we looked at the inside of the great tree, we were amazed at the what the disease had done to the great tree, for the inside was almost all sawdust – there was literally no substance to the tree anymore. Everyone wondered in amazement that the great tree had not fallen over much earlier!”
“In the end, we cleaned up the dead tree, but there was nothing left of any value. The tree was completely useless. We cut the stump off at the ground, but even that is now gone as well because of the disease. What was once the greatest of trees is now completely gone, and no one talks of it. There is no legacy and no great enduring stories or songs to its honor. Because the disease went untreated and it remained hidden until it was exposed in tragedy and many were hurt, the only memories of the tree are sad.”
“Yet, the other tree – the injured tree - continues to grow. It survived the lightning strike, and now grows strong and straight and tall. It has a long scar in the back that few can see unless you look for it, but it is there, nonetheless.”
“Someday, sadly, we will have to take it down, for we know it can only live so long. Despite the scar, it will leave a wonderful legacy. The wood will be used in many ways, and we will have a wonderful celebration to celebrate the passing of the tree. It will leave a legacy like none other. A new tree will be planted to replace it. The tree will have a legacy that will be celebrated in song and story.”
So, my son, the moral is: let nothing fester within you. Bring it into the light. To hold it in brings nothing but disaster and tragedy and sadness.”
Ephesians 5:11-13 "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light."
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Mr. Marica contributes incisive and contemporary Christian commentary for Examiner.com on a regular basis. He holds an MA from Liberty University, and he is the Director of Godly Training Ministries. You can find out more about him by clicking here.
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