Like That Tree

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men's advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely.

They are like trees along a river bank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper. Psalm 1: 1-3 (TLB)

Beverly Varnado lives in Georgia. Her father gave the family a Bradford pear tree one spring many years ago. It hardly rained the summer following, and even though Beverly was eight months pregnant, she went out every day and watered the tiny tree - trying to help it make it through the simmering Georgia heat. The tree has now survived for two decades.

In the days after her father's death, she has struggled to find peace and comfort. But Beverly often found solace while sitting under the tree he gave them. She is so glad she made the effort to keep the tree alive all those years ago because when she is under its spreading shade, God comforts her as she remembers her dad's influence on her life. It's an even greater comfort to realize that she is still sitting under that influence as well. Dad was a Bible teacher for many years; though he was not physically with her, his counsel and help were. Beverly cherishes all the wisdom and compassion her father poured into her through the years.

Like her dad, she prays she may also leave a lasting legacy for those to come. She wants her life to be like his tree - providing shelter and help for the generations who follow her.

What kind of legacy will you and I leave behind us? I hope that God's love for me will influence those around me to also know his love for them.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the influence and teaching of those who have come before us and help us to leave a worthy legacy to those who follow, in Jesus' name, amen.

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