What do you think of when you see the bare branches of winter? Even in my California desert city, trees lose their leaves and stand stark and gray in the bleak midwinter. I saw many today when I walked along the river.
These trees make me think of waiting. They are standing there, still beside the river that ripples along with recent rains. They bask in the weak winter sun. They are waiting, waiting for the spring when they will be decorated with fresh green and new life.
Waiting is tough. My family is waiting on health news and job news, and it’s hard. To be still and be patient does not come naturally. So I look at these trees and hear the river moving and feel the sun and think about how they are waiting for spring. Then I see it. They are not their most beautiful right now, but they are in the right place for them, rooted near water, lifting branches to the sun.
The bareness will soon enough be filled with spring growth because they have all they need: water and light. They look dead, but they are taking in nourishment. I can hardly wait to see these trees in full bloom again.
For me, trust in God gives me roots. Psalm 1 says, “He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.”