What is a Tree?

I love exploring nature with my toddler. He reminds me of how easily we forget to appreciate the simple things in life. The beauty of the mundane is lost as the years speed by, faster and faster it seems. I hope the grace of God will keep me in awe of Him. How terrible it would be for Jesus to become mundane.

Today, I was struck by something as my little boy inspected a tree. His new favorite phrase is, “wassat?” What’s that? Oh, that? That’s just a tree.

We walk over to the tree. He feels the tree bark and breaks off a piece of it. He looks at the bark closely, drops it, then pulls off another and does the same. He notices the big black ants crawling amid the cervices of the tree bark. He brushes his hands across the long-leaf pine needles. I break a few off and we smell the fresh piney scent together. We stood there for a few minutes taking in that tree.


Well, it’s just a tree. What is a tree?

Is a tree the bark that covers it or the pine needles that adorn it? Is it the tree sap? Is it the roots? Is it the branches? Is it endless possibilities of all that its wood could create? Is it paper, a table, or a chair? Is it firewood?


How much more difficult is it for us to grasp God than it is for my toddler to grasp a tree. What is a tree? Who is God? Are we much more than little toddlers, inspecting bits of Him at a time? In Jesus we see the image of God, but how much more is there to Jesus than we see?

Maybe to some, Jesus is the bark that covers the tree or the pine needles that adorn it. To some He is tree sap. To some He is roots and branches. To some He is paper, a table, or a chair. To some, He is firewood.

What if we as little brothers and sisters in Christ would take a step back, communicate, and revel in all that Jesus is?

We all see somewhat of Him. We all receive somewhat of Him as we are conformed to His image. Yet, how much do we miss out on as we focus on a few aspects of Him, argue over who He is, or in our foolishness assume that we have Him all figured out so we just simply say, “that’s a tree” but don’t take the time to really inspect Him in all His wonder?


Childlike wonder. That is what I never want to lose hold of, and the humility in knowing that we don’t really know in fullness. What is a tree? Who is Jesus? Who is God? Let’s keep searching with eager expectation and curiosity, with humility, and with awe. He is worthy to be awe-inspiring and unifying for all who are enthralled with His majesty that is so much greater than any tree.

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