Tuesday, November 29, 2005


On Each Side of the River...

...stood the tree of life!

By Ramone - November 27, 2005

I first sketched this back on June 17th. I was listening to Robin Mark's new "Revival in Belfast II" album and that great Irish jig at the beginning. I opened up the Bible and read Revelation 22 and wondered at how the Tree of Life could be standing on both sides of the river. This picture was the answer! Ha!!

It's just funny to me. And it's totally the way I saw it: Jesus with this big cheesey grin, standing on both sides of the river of the water of life!

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations... Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing." (Revelation 22:1-2, Ezekiel 47:12)

I was enjoying Jesus' hilarity in all of this, when suddenly He hit me with His cry of "COME!" There is so much heart, so much anguish, so much urging and pleading in that call! He gave me this picture with joy, but then with travail -- "Come!"

Lord, as we receive Your hilarious joy and Your love, stab us in the heart with Your care and Your anguished plea for the ones You love to come to You, Jesus, the Giving Tree:

"The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come! Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.'" (Rev.22:17)

You know, I understood the leaves of the Tree are for the healing of the nations, but I never really thought much about the fruit.

The obvious is that the fruit is all the wonderful things He feeds us (and puts seeds in) -- peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, and the greatest of these which is love. Against these things (in sight of these things) there is no law. The fruits of His Holy Spirit, the fruits of life, are really awesome things that totally floor us.

But the part that struck me the other day was "yielding its fruit every month".

Do you know many trees that can do that?

Most trees yield fruit once a year. Here in Japan I love eating little "mikan" oranges every winter. And I love the persimmon which come out only in autumn, I think. I'll have to wait awhile before it's mango season again, as well.

Many of my friends (and myself too) often start projects or ideas, or some friends work for denominations or institutions. We've all had good experiences doing God's work in the past, but watched "something" happen to break it up or end it, and we lament how it's gone. For this God helped me understand that everything has a season. Often we keep trying to get fruit off a tree that is done bearing fruit for the season, and we have trouble letting go. We want to stay at a particular tree when God is calling us into the unknown reigons of the forest, if you get my meaning.

But the Tree of Life bears fruit every month! He is the one tree that will not fail to give fruit. In life He will lead us from place to place, but we can always come to Him for fruit. And He bears this fruit in our lives every season. This doesn't mean we don't go through hard seasons. In fact, we do! I felt like what He said here in Revelation means that He will bring fruit even out of the difficult seasons in our lives. (see this post)

We don't always know which season it is, and we don't always know what kind of fruit is being born, but we can trust that He will bring fruit out of each one of our seasons, no matter how dry, arrid, dreary or wintery they appear.

And His leaves will be for our healing! (^_^)

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