How long will you pout about this?

We have a gorgeous water oak tree in the back yard. Its leaves shade my bedroom and the den from the sun's hot rays. I treasure this tree because life flits around it and lives in it. Birds, squirrels, and even three turtles flit, romp, and waddle around its branches and its roots. My cat loves to watch the bird show every morning.

Its been dropping limbs.

We thought it might need some trimming and pruning, so we called a tree doctor. He told us it was rotten clear through and would topple over in the next big wind. It would have to come down. I won't go into the exorbitant amount this was going to cost.

I cried and cried, and cried some more. It would take years for another tree to grow. It would take a monstrous dent in our finances. It was devastating.

There wasn't any way around it, but yet I cried and pleaded with the highest tree Doctor, the One Who created trees in the first place. I told him that I knew He could heal the tree, if He only would.

He brought to mind two stories. Jonah and Samuel. Jonah pouted that Nineveh repented and he wasn't going to see a fireworks show. Samuel pouted when Saul's kingship was taken away from him, and David was anointed in his stead.

Jonah should have rejoiced that the people of Nineveh were saved from God's wrath because they listened to his preaching and repented. That is a God-thing. Samuel, I can understand a bit better because he was mourning Israel's loss of a king, and that king's heart had grown so cold against obedience to God. But it was still disrespectful of God's decisions.

All my tears could do nothing to heal my tree. If I'd been a better steward of my tree by calling a tree doctor when I first noticed some ragged limb breaks that Hurricane Katrina had done, then my tree would have been much better, and not so sick.

Just as we often get another doctor's opinion when we hear bad news, we realized that we should get another tree doctor's opinion. We did. Good news.

He's going to be able to save our tree if only for the next 6-8 years. That will at least give another tree or two time to grow. I did not know that water oaks grow fast and decline fast. They generally do not live more than 20-25 years. But, this kind doctor is going to save our tree. The birds, squirrels, turtles, and yes even my cat will never know what almost happened.

I do, and I am incredibly grateful to my wonderful God Who cares enough to save a tree for my comfort. I am incredibly grateful that it will not wither and die like Jonah's shade vine did. I am wonderfully grateful that it will give plenty of time for another tree to grow up to take its place like God gave David time to grow and gain the strength to become king.

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