Where the Tree Falls

I love to go for walks in the forest. We live in a very rural part of a very rural Canadian province, and, well, let’s just say, there is no shortage of forests to explore. Just across the street from my home is a natural forest that stretches for miles as the crow flies. No neighborhoods, stores, parking lots, highways, noise or people. Only trees and quietness can be found there, sometimes an occasional deer or rabbit track. The only sound is the rustling of the branches in the canopy above and the chirping of a few forest-dwelling birds.

The forest is my retreat. Some like to go to all-inclusive luxury in warmer climates, others to a spa for a relaxing massage and special treatments. Strange as it may be, I retreat to the solitude of the nearby woods, and always with my camera. This is my 5-star resort.

Here is where I often go to find sanctuary from the busy world, to have time to be quiet, sit and reflect on life and on what God is teaching me in His Word; to walk and talk with the Lord. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not worshipping the trees, or the nature around me, nothing out-there-ish like that; but here is where I can quietly enjoy being in the company of God Almighty. I take my camera because it forces me to pause and absorb what I’m seeing – to appreciate the details, beauty and intricacies that I would otherwise pass by in a hasty walk. These sights lift my eyes to the Lord, reminding me there is more to this busy, chaotic life than than striving.

Often as I am wandering along and looking with fresh eyes at some scene before me a Scripture verse will come to mind, which is exactly what happened as I captured this late afternoon forest light and a fallen tree in the snow.

“And if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.” Ecclesiastes 11:3b

Sometimes verses in Scripture can seem so ordinary that we pass by them without giving them any thought. It would be a lot like my walking in the forest without a camera to help me to really see, I would pass by the most beautiful of sights in my haste. Ecclesiastes 11:3 is one verse that we could easily overlook:

“And if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.”

Verses like this one can be confusing until we recognize that nothing is redundant or unnecessary in the Scriptures, every word is intentional. Stating the obvious is not the purpose of this, or any other, verse in God’s holy Word. So we are forced to ask ourselves, ‘what does this verse mean? why is it here?‘ Even as we stop to ask this question we are pausing to think deeper about God, His ways and His plan for creation. No verse is mundane when we recognize that Scripture has as it’s main purpose to point sinful man to a glorious Savior who restores us to right fellowship with our Creator forever – not even this rare gem veiled in the curious book of Ecclesiastes.

Did you know that the Lord used this verse to open the blind eyes of a man named R.C. Sproul to save him? Not the famous John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”) or Romans 6:23 (“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”), but this obscure verse hidden in Ecclesiastes. R.C. Sproul became a great theologian and teacher used mightily by the Lord. His pilgrimage to heaven began when he paused to think deeper about the truth of fallen trees.

When the Lord opened his eyes, R.C. says he saw himself as a sinful man, rotting, decaying and falling as the tree in this verse. And the destination of that fallen tree was final. In that moment of awakening, R.C. cried out to God for mercy and found it.

Aren’t we all like that tree? We don’t care to admit it, but we know something is wrong deep inside of us and yet we can never seem to fix it. If there is one thing guaranteed in this life of ours, its death. We are all like these trees in the forest, decaying and destined to fall.

We don’t know when the next tree will fall. What we do know is that where it falls, there it shall lie.

What we have done with Jesus (believed He is the Son of God and our Savior, or not) determines where we will forever lie.

Food for thought on this fine and sunny Friday. Can I challenge you to read, reflect and deeply think upon God’s Word, dear reader? It’s food for your soul.

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned and in keeping them there is great reward.”

– Psalm 19:7-11

3 thoughts on “Where the Tree Falls

  1. I love reading and learning about your adventures and Bible versus. Thank you for helping me understand and enjoy reading the Bible. You are an inspiration Stephanie!!!


    1. Praise the Lord, Roslyn! It’s been my prayer as I write that these words would encourage as well as help even one person to read and understand God’s Word a little more. Thank you for sharing and for reading! ❤️


  2. Hi Stephanie,
    I’m with you in God’s creation being my place of retreat too. Although I’m not a photographer I do take focus shots with my heart.

    I live on the east coast of Australia & love walks by the sea hearing the waves lapping upon the shore with the sea breeze upon my face. Such a wonder of God’s power.

    I enjoyed your post new friend. You’re most welcome to join me in a cuppa at Tea With Jennifer as we’re neighbours this week at Jeanne’s.
    Blessings, Jennifer


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