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Orange Tree
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A few years back, a buddy and I decided to take a hike in the desert near Palm Springs, Calif. We packed our day-sacks with granola bars, first aid kit, extra socks and of course plenty of water, and we headed into the beautiful desert landscape.

The cacti were spiny, the air was hot and the land arid. If one didn't know better, it would almost appear to be a lifeless wasteland. As we moved deeper into the desert the air grew even hotter, the bushes appeared scorched and dead, and rocks lay about the ground like scattered bones. It felt as though the life here had been totally sucked dry and if we weren't careful it would do the same to us.

We began to grow tired and lethargic as we guzzled our water and ate our last granola bars, how we longed for just a minute of shade, but that seemed impossible.

Shade and Sustenance

After awhile, we rounded a bend, and a small valley unfolded before us. There in the midst of this arid desert stood a single orange tree, like a lighthouse, it's bright chromatic fruit guiding us to safety under her shade and sustenance. We bolted over to the tree like two kids to an ice-cream truck, rubbing our eyes in disbelief, and boy, were those the best oranges ever!

How a single orange tree managed to take root in such an inhospitable place is a mystery, much like the manna God provided from heaven. Giving the children of Israel hope for the future and faith for the journey.

The orange tree, to me, was a reminder that in the midst of a world that at times seems like a wasteland, hope remains, a light burns, a future awaits for those who stand strong and remember that God provides even in places we deem arid and irredeemable.

“He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you” (Deuteronomy 8:16).

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By Benjamin DuBose. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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