There is no question God has revealed Himself in His creation. God’s universe describes His glory in speech without words. Psalm 19 celebrates two forms of revelation: natural, in which information about God is made known through His creation; and special, in which information from God is made known directly to human beings.
This message was brought home to me over the weekend when one of my twin granddaughters was married under a willow tree. It had been an overcast day, with the sun trying to breakthrough and we were hopeful. Then it rained, I continued to pray and miracle upon miracle the rain stopped about forty minutes before the ceremony. God is good and the weather continued to cooperate. Later we gratefully celebrated indoors and had a wonderful time expressing our love for one another.
I kept having the sense that the willow tree was symbolic and didn’t get to check until we arrived home from North Carolina. This is what I discovered: the willow tree gives us hope, a sense of belonging and safety; the ability to let go of the pain and suffering to grow new, strong and bold. The image of the willow tree is our path to stability, hope and healing. The message of the willow tree is to adjust with life, rather than fighting it, surrendering to the process. Willow reminds us to let go and to surrender completely to our innermost selves and to gain a deeper understanding of our subconscious. Much to reflect on for each of us.
Certainly, God was talking to us, particularly since her grandfather could not be physically present, we felt his presence in other ways. Thankfully, butterflies, feathers and coins continue to follow all of us. Continuing with another symbolic meaning of the willow tree is its adaptability; the ability to not only survive but also thrive in some of the most challenging conditions. We can also look at how the willow tree encourages the expression of deep emotions, including grief and sadness through tears and teaching us the value and consequences of love and loss. Aptly named, ‘weeping willow,’ it did bring happy tears too.
How many of us look to nature and connect that God talks to us through it? I share the message God sent me through nature, when I looked with new eyes at the tree by my house. This maple tree has been beaten up through the years from being hit by a tractor when the house was built, to having had nearly half its branches cut off in degrees because it impeded the roof. As it half stands despite all its losses, I sense God’s love telling me, so will you.
Lastly, one of the greatest symbolic meanings of the willow tree is that even through great loss we will be able to grow and there is potential for something new. As caretakers may we be open to seeing and hearing how God speaks to us, whilegrowing in grace and love.