According to an old Rob Bell video, we live between two trees. In Genesis 2:9 there’s a tree of life, and it was referred to again in Revelation 22:2. And in between, the Bible mentions thirty-seven different varieties of tree in fifty-five separate verses (isn’t Google wonderful!). So trees have a special role in the Bible. I love the Psalm 1 tree, comparing a person who loves God’s ways being like a tree planted by water, firmly rooted and yielding fruit. And there’s the wonderful verses in Isaiah 61 about God’s favour leading to people being comforted and called “oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord”.
A few years ago I took a photo of two trees in Cumbria. They were large trees, quite mature, located in the middle of a field being grazed by sheep. I wasn’t close enough to see what they were, but I was struck by the contrast. You see, one of the trees was very much alive, but the other was completely dead. The dead tree must have started life as a seed, growing to maturity, but then some calamity struck. But, spiritually, it is the other way round for us. Psalm 51 says we were sinful (dead in our sins) from the moment of conception. But then we were made alive when Jesus was raised from the dead (Ephesians 2:5). Transformed from death to life. There are other analogies that can be drawn, I’m sure. All I know is that I would rather be the tree full of life. There’s something sad-looking and terminal about the other.