| Dec 21, 2006

Feature Article - December 21

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Christmas content 2006

Lessons from a tree

by Debbie Miles


The snow has given us a bright scenic view from our windows here in our secluded bush. The children love singing their Christmas carols. Soon it'll be time to get our tree.

Last year’s tree will not soon be forgotten. It was a prize winner tree. Enthusiastically it was placed on a round coffee table, in front of a window.

We don't have a lot of treasures in our house; our true treasures are crowded around our table. But we did have a set of antique Christmas bulbs that had been given to us years ago by my great aunt and uncle. They had meticulously taken the utmost care of their beautiful ornaments, and they were still wrapped in their original tissue and boxes. We hadn't used them while the children were small. My husband Dave suggested the children were big enough now.


Carefully every decoration was hung, along with gingerbread men, and we had a wonderful time. The children were quietly playing, and reading, when we heard "CRASH"! We all came running. There in a heap lay a very overwhelming disaster! Coloured pieces of glass and gingerbread everywhere! Poor five-year-old Joel burst into tears, somehow expressing the helplessness we all felt.

Thinking now more of him than the tree, we stopped and prayed, "Father, thank you none of the children were hurt. Thank you even in our disappointments, you are with us." Then we tried to figure out how, or where to start cleaning up. Dave lifted the tree upright. As he lifted it, more and more bulbs dropped! We had used a different tree stand, apparently not as secure as usual!

Later that day I was on my way to pick up our Christmas cards from the printer. I knew it would be one of my last times driving, as I am losing my sight. As I reflected on our initially beautiful tree, it occurred to me that in our lives there are so many beautiful dreams and goals that are just like those antique bulbs we can't replace. None of them are wrong in and of themselves, but we all have times when our world comes crashing down with no warning! There are changes, adjustments, or an ending in an area of our lives we didn't expect. All of those thoughts were rolling through my mind. Then I came to a wonderful realization: even if everything in my life falls, and breaks, as long as I stand on the Rock, instead of the sinking sand, I'll make it''.

Jesus said, "I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). We have a Heavenly Father who loves us, who knows how many hairs are on our heads (Matt. 10:30). We are safe with him as our Shepherd, no matter what happens in our lives. This revelation has helped me SO much in the past year. There have been many victories, and side by side, many hardships where "bulbs have shattered"! How wonderful to focus on Christmas, and remember, Christ was born, because of LOVE!

Update: This article was written last year and it has now been two years since I have driven. My eye specialist had said not to even think about eye surgery because I am high risk. I could not see my whole kitchen table any more and daily functioning was becoming increasingly more difficult. This fall the specialist said I didn’t have much to lose and on Nov 29, the operation was performed. Never in my wildest imagination did I ever dream I would drive again. The surgery was a wonderful success and I now have 20/20 vision in one eye. My other eye is also scheduled to be operated on.

I will never forget the day the tree fell over and the wonderful lessons I learned. There really can be peace in the storms of life. I can’t wait to put my bulbs on the tree this year and SEE them.

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