Day 16: Staying Green…or Not

BY SHANNON EVANS | February 29th, 2024
Today’s readings

I spend a lot of time thinking about trees.

I suppose it happens when you move outside the city limits. The prairie and woods are a feast of spiritual insights; plus the landscape changes with the seasons, offering fresh meditations with each iteration.

Today’s readings promise us that a person who trusts in God is like a tree planted beside water, staying green in times of heat and drought. Such leaves never fade, we are assured.

There are times when these readings can bolster our spirits and renew our energy for the work at hand. But there are times when we’re doing our best to trust in God and yet still feel dry and depleted. In those times, we might read these verses and feel discouraged –  even ashamed of our brittle leaves. But we shouldn’t.

Because with all due respect to the writers of these passages, this isn’t how nature works. Foliage doesn’t stay perpetually green and lush year round. It’s not meant to

We are a part of creation, and other parts can tell us profound things about ourselves. Green leaves turn brown in due time; they fall to the ground; they compost into dirt. And when they do, they haven’t failed at their mission – they’ve succeeded. Becoming nutrients for the dirt is no less important than releasing oxygen on a branch. 

If your soul feels like a well-watered tree with leaves that will stay vibrant forever – savor that. It’s a beautiful state to be in. But if your soul feels more like a tree with crispy brown leaves on their way to the ground below, don’t be discouraged. Remember that, too, is beautiful for its own reasons. And one day the tree will grow new leaves, your soul will feel watered, and the cycle will begin again. 

4 replies
  1. sonja
    sonja says:

    Thank you Shannon for giving me hope. I really relate to trees. “One day the tree will grow new leaves, your soul will feel watered, and the cycle will begin again.”

  2. Marise
    Marise says:

    As a proverbial tree-hugger, this meditation really spoke to me. Thank you for the encouraging words. Trees represent life, protection, patience, a quiet strength, and my beautiful God.

  3. Lorraine
    Lorraine says:

    Beautiful imagery you painted in this reflection. I will look at falling leaves so differently, real leaves and my own as well. Thank you.


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