1 Corinthians 3:2 (NIV): I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
I love hearing stories of the past. However, I never expect to hear about a tree. Especially not a stolen tree. A tree was smuggled away from its home and planted in the front lawn of a ranch in this area. I’m sure the statute of limitations has expired for this act. But just in case it hasn’t, I won’t give you any more information, except that the tree is an Eastern White Pine.
The Eastern White Pine is a fascinating tree. These were known as mast pines during the 17th and 18th centuries because they were used to build masts for the British Royal Navy. Though not as tall as pine trees on the West coast. The Eastern White Pine is the tallest pine on the east coast.
A fascinating trivia about the Eastern White Pine is the growth process. This tree is a very fast-growing tree—once it starts growing. For the first several years, the tree has extremely little vertical growth, pushing its nutrients into its roots. Once the roots are developed enough, the tree will start growing vertically.
This tree is an excellent illustration of each person’s spiritual growth. Many people try growing fast spiritually: showing fruit early, accepting leadership positions, trying to be a good Christian in all the ways people see. Because no time is spent on the roots, soon their faith withers because there was no substance underneath.
The follower of Jesus must first focus on being rooted in the faith. This process requires time. Time to understand who Jesus is. Time to know how to study the Bible. Time to know how our salvation was earned and how it is given to us. Time to understand the fundamental truths that hold our faith apart from the others. Incidentally, the early church would not baptize an individual for two years after professing faith in Jesus to ensure that individuals truly understood what they believed.
This process of being rooted in the faith is called discipleship, where one person steps another person through what it means to follow Christ. This process is not the role of pastors and priests, but individual Christian helping other individual Christians grow roots in the faith.
Pastor of Calvary Bible Church, Neligh, NE. Missionary with RHMA. Husband to Maggie. Father to Grace, David, and Daniel. Saved by Jesus Christ