Devotional Thought by Kristen Kocsis

I love trees. Laying in my hammock, staring up at the treetops, breathing the fresh air & listening to the sounds of the forest – it’s one of my favorite places to be, one of the places I feel the most alive.

Bible verses about trees always jump out at me. Last week, this verse stood out to me: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life & the one who is wise saves lives.” -Prov. 11:30

The phrase “tree of life” appears a handful of times in scripture. It’s there in the beginning when the humans & God dwell together & go for strolls in the cool of the evening. It’s there in the last chapter of Revelation when heaven invades earth & humans & God dwell together in the new creation.
The picture of the tree of life is connected with eternal life, healing & being in God’s presence.

When the humans rebelled against God, they were no longer able to dwell in God’s presence & lost access to the tree of life. However, as the story continued, people had these encounters with God against the backdrop of a tree. God comes & talks to Abraham in front of a giant oak tree. He talks to Moses through a tree that’s on fire but not burning. Later, the Son of God hanging on a tree, becomes the access point through which we all get to be connected to God.

Despite their rebellion, God continues to seek out connection with the humans. Graciously, he sets many of these experiences around a tree – almost to say “Remember the thing you lost because you rebelled? Here’s another opportunity to experience the life, goodness & healing that comes from being in my presence.”

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life” – a place where humans get to encounter God, a space where heaven invades earth.

This week, I’ve been pondering: What if God producing good fruit (love, joy, peace, patience…) in me is not about just me, but the good of everyone around me? What if he wants to use me (us) to create space for someone to encounter him?

What if he wants to pack each little interaction with opportunity to see heaven invade earth?

What if moments with disciples felt like moments in your favorite place because they were spaces where you got to encounter God?