I have an ash tree in my front yard. I did not know it was an ash tree until yesterday when the property manager of our townhome association called me to inform me of that fact. He wanted to let me know that during the annual fall property inspection,a crack had been noticed in one of it's upper limbs. That fact was duly recorded along with a note to inspect the tree once again in March to see if my tree was hosting... visitors.
He was calling to let me know that my tree was indeed doing just that and they were not merely visitors. Emerald Ash Borers had come to stay. My lovely shade tree is coming down within the next few weeks. The association will plant a new tree but I know it will be years before the new tree will provide the same shade as the ash tree did.
To the untrained eye, my tree appears to be healthy. At the moment, it does not have any leaves on it but that is merely because we are just ending a long and brutal winter in my part of the world. Appearances can be deceptive though. While most people would look at this tree and say it is healthy, it is not. When this picture was taken last year, a deadly enemy was already residing within it.
I am reminded of my own life. Spiritually I may look "fine". Perhaps I even feel "fine" but looks and feelings can be deceiving. This is why it is so critical that we listen to the Holy Spirit's inspection reports. Is everything in order within your heart and mind? Does anything need to be repaired or even replaced? Is some fumigation necessary? What about trash removal? Is everything spotless and in order or are there stains and build-up in the corners?
If the ash tree remains in my yard, it will eventually display signs of illness, weakness and die. It can also infect other ash trees around it. Radical steps must be taken. The diseased tree must be cut down, the stump uprooted and it must be carried away. A brand-new tree, one that is not susceptible to the emerald ash borer must be planted in my front yard instead.
The diseased things in our lives must be cut down, uprooted and carted away as well. We can not replant the same kind of "tree" once again or we will find ourselves in the same mess once again.
I do not have the knowledge or the skill to remove the ash tree on my own so the experts must be called in. On my own I do not have the ability to remove the diseased "trees" in my life so I must call in the expert as well; the Holy Spirit. He knows exactly what needs to be done. He will not merely cut down the tree but He removes the root and carts off the remains and properly disposes them. Then He plants in it's place a tree that is strong, healthy and fruitful.
Is it time for a tree inspection?