Cedars of Lebanon

Our reading from Ezekiel refers to the cedars of Lebanon.  These cedar trees have long been a symbol of greatness, power, stability, and strength throughout the history of the Middle East.  They have typically grown to heights of 80 feet having trunks 4 feet in diameter.  Our reading states, “I myself (the Lord God) will take a sprig from the lofty top of a cedar. . . and plant it on a high and lofty mountain, in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar.”

Those of you who know horticulture know that a cedar tree can be reproduced by this method of planting a sprig.  But what is so interesting is that to encourage the growth of such a small sprig, they are better to be exposed to several harsh freezes and be subjected to stress.  Horticulturists will intentionally “wound” the open end of the newly harvested sprig in order to encourage growth.

Has your faith ever been so stressed, frozen, or wounded?

Furthermore, God chooses to plant this sprig of the cedar high on top of the lofty mountains.   I think of the times I have hiked in the Rocky Mountains to the tree line, the high and lofty spaces where growth is challenged by the elements.  Does God intend that our faith be planted in such challenging places as the barren tops of rock laden, dry, sparse mountain tops?

Our faith is often faced with a freezing climate toward Christianity, it will be wounded by the world around us, it will have to be planted in dry soil…. But it will sprout and grow each day. . . we may not know how. . . but “I myself” (the Lord God) will make it happen for you.

My prayer is that all may know this promise in their most challenging times.

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