Planted By The River
There are many mysteries in the Bible and one that comes to mind is found in Mark 8:21-26.
Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida
22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into[a] the village.”
The question is Why didn’t Jesus heal the man right away or did he? One of the answers that is interpreted is that he was healed gradually basically for his own good. It was like going from total darkness to the bright sunlight. Many times it is compared to salvation and how God let’s a little light in to draw sinners to the righteous path. When they see some light he reveals more light as they seek him.
The other interpretation that I heard recently was that perhaps the man was given a vision in the spiritual realm. We see things in the natural with our natural eyes but behind the scenes there is a spiritual world. It’s like our computer system at work. We are operating on what we see on our monitor. Behind the scenes things are happening inside that computer that we don’t see. Sometimes we concentrate so much on what we are seeing that we forget that there is the unseen world. It’s only when things go awry with our computer that an expert has to manipulate things behind the scenes to make what we see go back to normal.
It is interesting that the man saw figures like trees but they were walking around. We aren’t told how he lost his sight but he obviously could see at some earlier part of his life because he knew what trees looked like. The Bible talks about trees many times and how we are like trees.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 New International Version (NIV)
5 This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
We all know that to live trees need water and sunlight. The sunlight part is usually the easy one. Very rarely will a tree die from lack of the sun. What could kill a tree is if it isn’t planted in the right place and is unable to be deep rooted/ Deep rooted trees can extracts water from the ground that it needs to live. Ideally a tree with deep roots that is planted by the water has everything it needs. The verse mentions that these trees never fear the heat. It’s leaves are always green. Why? Because it is drawing water from the water of life. It also mentions that it has no worries in a year of drought. Why? Because the weather may be dry on the outside, but there is living water that it draws from! It never fails to bear fruit. Why? Because the tree is lacking nothing. It is operating as normal in good times and in bad because it is connected to that living water. Like the computer example it is operating well behind the scenes.
Growing up we had a big tree in our front yard. To this day that tree is there living a healthy life. It is much bigger than it was back then and it was big then. The reason I know it is even bigger is because we used to climb it as kids. There was one branch maybe 5 or 6 feet off of the ground that we would jump up and grab and start our climb. I know the tree is bigger because that branch is now about 12 feet off of the ground. There is no way even now that I could i get started climbing that tree. My sister and I would climb that tree all of the time. Now kids are probably discouraged from climbing trees. This was before the video game rage. Back then kid had to entertain themselves. It never entered our minds the danger that was there. That tree provided enormous pleasure and a lasting good memory of growing up. One famous picture that we looked at for years was taken by my mom of the tree with both of us in it. We were way up in the tree and that picture became a find the kids in the tree game.
That tree was definitely in the right place for us. It was far enough away from the house where it could grow long roots to extract water deep in the ground. Unlike our tree there are some trees that grow wild. We have had many experiences around our house of trees that just start sprouting up. It is important to keep these wild growing trees under control or they could cause damage to the house. Trees can be a great benefit if they are planted in the right places for the health of the trees and the enjoyment they can provide.
I was reading about the benefit of trees. Here are eight reasons we need well planted trees.
!. Trees cool down neighborhoods
2. Trees fight air pollution
3. Trees and greenery may boost lifespan
4. Trees ease depression and stress
5. Tree loss hurts health
6. Trees reduce Asthma’s toll
7. Trees support better sleep
8. Trees offer heat stroke protection
When the blind man first got his sight could it be that he saw people the way God does in the spiritual realm? Like a tree we need water to survive. In the spiritual world that water is the Holy Spirit. By being deeply rooted and well planted in him we get all of the nourishment we need. Just like the trees when we are deeply rooted in the Holy Spirit there are benefits for our neighbors and people we come in contact with. Our presence can cool down situations, fight evil ways of thinking, help to give depression and stress relief, give our neighbors peace of mind and help them see things in a different light. The most important thing we can do is show them the reason for our health and hope. We can show them how they too can be like trees planted by the water of love, strength, health, and happiness!