“I’d like to report a dead gum tree.” My phone call to the local council soon resulted in the tree outside my son’s school being reduced to a little stump just a few centimetres high. To any casual observer, that tree appeared dead. But below the earth, the roots continued to go about their business and now – a couple of years down the track – there are strong, young shoots pushing up from the stump.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, interpreted by Daniel, in which God warned that his continued oppression and cruelty would lead to dire personal consequences. Because Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged no higher authority than himself, he ignored Daniel’s advice to bow to God’s authority. He lost everything as a result.
But Daniel’s interpretation of the king’s dream also contained a sliver of hope – if he repented and acknowledged God, Nebuchadnezzar could be restored, like that tree near the school. God is in the business of restoration. Turning back to him always offers us hope of new life in which we can flourish.
Is there an area of life in which you are “being a Nebuchadnezzar” – a situation in which you need to submit yourself to God?
Lord God, give me ears to hear you today and eyes to see myself as you see me. As David prayed, please “create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” so that I may truly flourish in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.