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Down, But Not Done
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I went for a walk on the trail near my house early last spring. My border collie and my son's pit bull/boxer mix caught up with me as I carefully walked over the stepping-stones crossing the creek. It had been a long winter and I was searching for any evidence of spring I could see as we ventured through the poplars.

Finally, we came to the end of the trail. I approached the last gurgling brook and searched the landscape for any sign of spring. But regretfully, I could find no sign of new life, nothing.

I turned around to retrace my steps along the path we had come. It was then that I noticed something my eyes had missed. It was like one of those pictures that you have to refocus your eyes slightly to see. Poplar buds! It was something far more significant to me than merely a sign of spring. There before my eyes I saw not merely a bit of new life, but also a sign of the re-creation that occurs in all of us.

Poplar Parable

I smiled as I took in this lesson from the poplar—a “Poplar Parable.”

Before me lay one of the poplars that had toppled in a windstorm a couple years ago. It was one  of many poplar trees that had been blown down by the remnants of a hurricane. However, there was something drastically different about this tree. Some of its roots were still attached, close to a bubbling spring. The attached roots and life-giving liquid had kept the tree alive! On the side of the tree, where the branches could still stretch upward, I noticed signs of life as the twigs displayed many buds.

Oftentimes, I search for the parables God has hidden in nature. Here was an allegory that I could identify with in my life. There are times when I feel toppled over like the magnificent poplar. The winds of strife assail me. It may be the loss of a job, or not getting the job hoped for. Sometimes it is the heartache over the loss of  a loved one or loss of a love relationship. Yet like the poplar, I can bud out again with renewed life.

Many are the times that each of us have toppled over. And yet we are like the poplar. And like the poplar we need to be watered and refreshed by our walks out in nature. And as we breathe in its purity, our inmost souls become revived and buds of renewal appear.

We may be devastated. We may be dealt a wicked blow. We may be knocked down to our knees or even knocked flat on our back. We may be down, but, we are not done!

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By Ron Reese. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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