Signs and Seasons, Days and Years

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The tree

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Jul 23, 2015

Thursday afternoon

ripples-in-water

Ok, I need to take notes on this.

I just came back from a walk. I was feeling lots of energy, even after my time in the pool, so felt like I needed to take advantage of this new energy level by adding in a good walk to keep my circulation going strong for longer. What I had in mind was 40 minutes – go 20 minutes in whatever direction seemed best, and then turn around and come home.

So I headed out onto the main street [heading north on Haven]. My first thought was to go toward the mountains and maybe I’d be able to climb a bit – but as I looked, it was clear that that wasn’t going to work out. Too far away. After just 20 minutes of walking I wouldn’t have felt any closer to those mountains.

But that stream bed I’d seen yesterday running alongside these apartments – that’s really what I was wanting to see – to see if it was really as close to us as it had appeared. We don’t get any view of it at all from inside the apartment complex. But how would I get to it? Well, the first cross-street I came to was called “Creekbridge”. That sounded hopeful, so I took that street. A man came by, jogging past me down this street, and when he came to the corner [Creekbridge becoming Brookside], rather than turning left with the street as it seemed he’d need to do, he took sort of a special sidewalk that cut across between the houses. So I followed him. And sure enough, it took me to a bridge over the creek.

The path I now found myself on was a bit out of the ordinary. Rather than just walking the ordinary sidewalks of city streets, I was now on sort of a special sidewalk that cut right across the various housing areas until it emptied out onto a main street [coming out between Hampton and Essex, and turning left onto Terra Vista Pkwy] that took me past a middle school [Ruth Musser Middle School]. Ok, makes sense… the kids must use this all the time to get to school. I looked at my watch and I’d done only about 10 minutes, so I kept going, looking to see if maybe I could reach a city park before it was time to turn around. I’d seen some nice city parks on the walks Gil had taken me on. No certainty that I was anywhere near any of those. This was quite an unknown path that I was now on.

But before long, there I was, coming upon a park [Coyote Canyon Park]. Nothing familiar really, but a park nonetheless. The sidewalk took me around the circumference of the park, and up to an open gate, and I just went right through the gate, not realizing that at this point I was leaving the park. Soon I saw that I’d entered a kind of private-looking neighborhood which had only limited access to the street. But I just kept going straight ahead, and soon came to a driveway that returned me to an ordinary city sidewalk.

At this point looking again at my watch, I saw that it was now time to start heading back, so I turned left out of the driveway, to head back in the direction I’d come from. Now I don’t fully remember the details of how this next part came about. Maybe I’d already walked half a block in this new direction. I looked and saw a skinny tree trunk in front of me, and reached out and took hold of it. It didn’t look very healthy. Dry and cracked. Looking up, I realized that this was a dead tree. Totally dead. Probably a victim of the California drought. Looking up and down the street I saw that it was lined with these trees. Some still alive, some just barely alive, and some dead like this one.

And for some reason it seemed that there was meant to be some meaning in this tree whose dead trunk I was holding in my hand. What is it that I’ve been praying for Lord? For the nation of Israel. That Your Spirit will be poured out on Your people. That finally their hearts will be turned to you like never before. That their hearts will now be truly Yours.

That this will happen, someday, there’s no question. Over and over in the Scriptures You’ve promised us this. But exactly when… that’s another matter. My prayer; my hope; has been that this blessing would come sooner rather than later. But only You really know how exactly these things are to unfold, in order to fully accomplish all that you have ordained. And some of the matters I’ve recently investigated seem to be suggesting maybe a longer wait than I’d been hoping for, of maybe 10-20 more years before this miracle happens – this miracle of the dry bones now fully restored, not only standing, but now filled with the breath of life. The dry tree which once was dead, now once again growing leaves and bearing fruit.

So… this dead tree in my hand, Lord – suppose I come back tomorrow and look again. Do you mean this as a sign to me Lord? Suppose I come back and see that this tree once dead is now alive. If that happens Lord, could I take that as a sign that this miracle I’ve prayed for is indeed just around the corner?

So I looked carefully, to be able to clearly identify this tree on another day. Right next to me was the wall or fence of that gated community I’d just walked though, and right next to this dead tree that I’d grasped in my hand was a gate in that wall/fence – a locked gate. Ok, I can clearly identify that. It was the only gate between the driveway I’d just come from, and the wide open area of the park which was just ahead. So with that I headed home.

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