Something I Learned from Bonsai

Bonsai are incredibly difficult to grow. They require constant care, from fertilizer, to pest control, to re-potting, to watering, to wiring, not to mention an endless amount of trimming. However, in the end, the result is something truly special. A sturdy cedar, with the delicateness of a sapling. A mighty miniature. In this paradox we find its beauty and loveliness. A small tree. A sweet tree. A soothing piece of nature perfectly captured.

In some ways, these precious trees reflect the Christian experience. God chooses the weak things to shame the strong, the small things to shame the large, and the foolish things to shame the wise. Oftentimes the most powerful saints are those whose life often hangs by a thread, who live in grinding poverty, who must always rely on God for every ounce of strength, who find themselves constantly fighting against the powers of sin,  and constantly having to ask him for forgiveness. These are often the bastions of God’s grace.

But perhaps more strikingly, is that bonsai are also a reflection of how God works in our lives. See how careful and dedicated God is with his children. See him carefully plant the seed of the gospel in our hearts. See him gently water us with the living word. See him meticulously prune away the dead and unfruitful branches. See him gently bind us up with wires to keep us lowly and meek. And with surgical precision, see him remove the parasites of uncleanness, greed, and callousness. Other trees are left to their own devices; growing wild and untamed. But with God’s trees, nothing is overlooked. These trees are destined for majesty.

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