Have you ever bawled like a baby when reading a children’s fable? I have! Several years ago, as I was browsing the small bookstore at The Homestead Heritage in Waco, Texas, I picked up The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale. I guarantee you that this was no ordinary children’s story. The tale tells of the dreams of three trees in the forest, who all long to grow into something that the world would value. One wanted to be the most beautiful, the other the strongest, and the third the tallest. After many years the woodcutters came to harvest these trees on the mountain.
What these three trees wished themselves to be instead became how they were used to serve. The purpose of each tree brought me to tears. Can you guess how the tallest tree was used? The third tree wanted to be the tallest tree in the land, and by some accounts this tree got what it wished for as it stood tall at Calvary with Jesus nailed to it. This tree had one idea of its future, but God had another purpose and plan. Despite the ugliness it endured as it co-labored with Jesus, the third tree had the opportunity to help bring Salvation to the world. Now that’s worth both living and dying for!
We all have dreams, and the question we should ask ourselves is whether we are dreaming the right dream. Are you pursuing your own dream or seeking to know God’s dream for your life? Sometimes God’s dream for your life will take you through ugliness, harshness, and cruelty such as what Jesus experienced on the cross? Much of the time you will never be made aware of the impact you are making and must maintain faith that God is using each faithful word and action for Kingdom impact. On those seemingly rare occasions when I do get feedback, I find those are the fuel that keep me seeking the Lord’s will for my life.