‘three trees’


  Three Trees: Photograph Lachlan McDonald

While reading the daily newsletter from vom’s- extreme devotion  [mar.03.2009] there was this story about ‘three trees’. Voice of the Martyr pointed out that the underground churches across eastern Europe, used the parable of the ‘three trees’ as a resource for encouragement to those suffering for their faith. These believers needed to see purpose in what they endured. I had heard a song with a very similar message but wanted to post the parable for my readers throughout all of the world that wake up everyday to a spirit of persecution. It is my prayer that this post will be a source of encouragement to my brothers and sisters that are suffering for the cause of Christ. 

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 1 Peter 4:12-14


They must have had such high hopes and aspirations when they originally said they wanted to be used by God for his glory. Yet, oppression seemed to have cut them off from God’s plans. How could unjust suffering play into such a plan? Like the tree that formed the cross, they realized they were also being shaped into God’s ultimate purpose for their lives. From this perspective, suffering is not seen as an interruption of God’s plans for your life, but an integral part of the process. VOM

    In a forest one day, three young trees all agreed to pray that they would be used for some noble purpose rather than decay from old age.

    The first tree wanted to become a manger where tired cattle could feed after a long day’s work. God rewarded the tree for having such modesty. It became a very special manger—the one in which the Son of God was laid.

    The second tree prayed that it might become a boat. The prayer was answered, and soon its fine wood sheltered a very special passenger—the Son of God. It heard Jesus calm a fierce storm by saying, “Peace, be still.” The tree counted its life as worthwhile in order to witness such a scene.

   The third tree, however, was made into a large cross to serve as an instrument of suffering. The tree was initially deeply disappointed in its fate. However, one day Jesus of Nazareth was nailed to its limbs. Strange, but the cross did not hear groaning and cursing as on other crosses. Instead it heard the Son of God offer words of love and divine forgiveness—words that opened paradise to a repentant thief.

   The tree then understood that its part in the crucifixion of Jesus provided for the salvation of humankind.


Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Psalm 1:1-6

May we be trees planted by the river of living water of Gods word and may He shine the glorious light of His Spirit upon us that we will stand upon that same word with a firm commitment… even unto death. 



  1. Great message as always Brother Malachi! I was touched by the one line which stated,
    ” suffering is not seen as an interruption of God’s plans for your life, but an integral part of the process.”

    This is backed up in Scriputure in Romans 8:17, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christm if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory”. That is a powerful statement. Why should we consider our suffering here as though we were forgotten by God when in fact, our suffering is being used to manifest God’ glory through our pain. He is working out something so far greater that our finite minds cannot contain it. Our temporary trials and sufferings cannot stop God’s perfect plan for our lives. The enemy himself knows that!

    May we keep our eyes on Christ during our struggles so that all may see that we are indeed set apart for the kingdom of God!


  2. Thanks Marianne for reading and commenting. Discussing suffering in the church in America is not a palatable discussion. Many today follow Christ for some benefit. To consider the true cost of discipleship may require suffering is not going to attract many to His body.

    I was thinking how many times we see God allow suffering in the life of His child in order to bring them to the place that He has desired for them. This place is perfect and it is His will, the way we get there is not the road we would have walked in our own strength. As Christ told Peter, when thou was young, you girded up yourself and went where you desired, but when you are old, another will gird you and carry you where you would not go.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement and the scripture… to share in His glory is something that my finite mind can not lay hold to, but we know it is true, because His word His true and He is faithful. May we be faithful to the end.


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