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IMG_1151The deep, variegated hues of orange born beneath a sunset or the crash of white waves dissipating against the shoreline compel me to quietly and intently look at each created masterpiece and become increasingly aware of God as creator.

Solitary time spent in worship and prayer bring me closer to the Father’s heart. This idea is not foreign, Luke 5:16 says Jesus often did this.

On one memorable occasion, I was prayerfully worshiping and I saw a line of different types of trees: all shapes and sizes. Each tree appeared to be linked together like a fence. Moved by the wind each one swayed as if it were dancing.

Through this picture, God showed me that people are like trees. We can identify a tree by the kind of leaf it bears. Like a leaf we are given a signature mark: spiritual gifts and a unique personality to glorify Him.

Leaves change in appearance during the seasons of the year. Spring emerges and new growth sprouts. Summer brings maturity to blossoming buds. Russet leaves fall from trees exposing their bareness. Winter deceives us and we think they are dead; however, what appeared to be lifeless bursts forth with life again.

This beautiful cycle of nature shows us God’s very character as restorer of all things. When we come to Jesus, He takes things and people that appear dead and restores them to their original beauty and design.

God created us to be fully alive in Christ. But like trees we go through a growth process as we discover who we are in Christ and what that means. As we allow God to work in our heart and mind, His Holy Spirit makes us new again. The result is freedom and wholeness we never knew before. And an opportunity to glorify the one who made it possible.

In what ways are you being made new again and how will you use your gifts to display God’s power this year?