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by Peter Fraser © 2021

As I walk through the forest and breathe in the scent, I notice the peace and feel suddenly content,
For surrounded by nature God's work of Creation, I'm lifted above my earthly station,
All around me stand giants of magnificent form, facing all that comes, weathering the storm,
And this makes me wonder "What stands like a Tree, what else on the Earth is likened to these"?

They start as a seed which is blown here and there, buffeted by wind but not knowing despair,
It lands on a piece of fertile ground, proceeding to grow where nutrients abound,
Putting down roots, slowly at first, absorbing minerals and quenching its thirst,
Becoming the image of the parent Tree, as the years pass along another giant to be.

But not without trouble the Sapling tree grows, it deals with the Locust and other such woes,
It rolls with the punches that the natural has sent, and slowly grows stronger with every event,
As time passes its branches grow dense, its roots go down deep which builds its defence,
It's growth never stops though mature and grounded, it continues to stand though often pounded.

In its foliage and branches many lives take refuge, burrows and nests without fear of deluge,
And many together create habitats, all experiencing their joys, hard times and combat,
And then one day disease takes a hold, some branches are withered though still standing bold,
It sheds off the dead parts and gets on with life, not willing to fall for after some strife.

Leaves come and go with the seasons and years, the Tree knows its share of troubles and tears,
Some branches are split or in the storm break away, others stay firm though feeling the sway,
Vital sap leaks from injuries gained, but the wounds heal quickly and the body is not drained,
Lightning may strike or fire may burn, yet the Tree comes back stronger with still much to learn.

But then the day comes when the Lumberjack appears, chips away with his axes, saws and shears,
He takes the tree down bit by bit, the branches cut off and the truck is split,
Until only a Stump remains on the ground, the mighty has fallen and chaos abounds,
For all who look on destruction is complete, there is no more victory only defeat.

But under the Stump the roots remain deep, they gather resources though appear to be asleep,
The roots do not falter their focus remains, the stump draws on their strength and slowly regains,
And surely enough when the right time arrives, evidence appears that the Stump has survived,
For there in full view is a brand new shoot, green and full of life which will one day bear fruit.

And so when you stand in a forest of trees, take a good look around you and see what God sees,
A group standing strong though in constant trouble, in a dangerous world not locked in a bubble,
Damage is taken as part of your life, do not expect freedom from wounding and strife,
For though you may fall if the roots are strong, you will always grow back and be where you belong.

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This Christian poem may be used within Christian ministries for any non-profit purpose without requesting permission.
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