Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Lowly Mesquite Tree

I grew up in the panhandle of west Texas where any three trees in sight of each other are considered a national forest. Most trees do not naturally grow there unless planted and watered by people. The exception is the lowly Mesquite tree. Though the mesquite wood makes great bricketts for the grill.

Mesquite trees put down a long taproot that they use to locate enough moisture to keep them alive in the dry season. This feature allows them to survive through long droughts. There are recorded instances of taproots of the mesquite tree reaching a depth of almost 200 feet down into the soil. The roots of the mesquite can regenerate if the tree is chopped off above, making the mesquite one tough tree to get rid of. Ranchers feel that the mesquite sucks water from the land that could be used for livestock and farming, making it unpopular with those individuals. On the other hand cattle eat the bean pods and spread the seed around in the resulting fertilizer.

The bible in the book of Isaiah 61 likens God’s people to trees of righteousness. Because we carry the precious seeds of faith, reconciliation and love we can draw others into the kingdom of God. Like the desert Southwest our life can often be like living in a drought when trouble hits, as it will. If we, like the mesquite, will put down deep spiritual tap roots in the Holy Spirit then we can weather the spiritual droughts.  Those deep roots will let us have enormous potential to reproduce the gospel in other people.