Life Lessons from a Cedar Tree

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The life of the cedar tree has so much to teach us.  There is such beauty, wonderful fragrance, and uses that this majestic tree provides. In fact, it is the most mentioned tree in the Bible…and for very good reason.

First, a few facts about the cedar tree

  • It is evergreen-it does not lose its foliage in the fall
  • They can reach over 100 feet tall and have a very large diameter
  • Lebanon Cedar was used for the construction of ships for Alexander the Great and for construction of King Solomon’s Temple
  • The fragrant oil extracted from the heartwood of the cedar was used during the mummification process in Ancient Egypt as well as a mosquito repellant by Native Americans
  • Because the oil does not develop in younger trees, the heartwood is subject to rotting, which in turn results in mature trees with hollow trunks, making natural homes for wildlife
  • The Lebanon Cedar is a symbol of tolerance and immortality
  • Cedars prefer moist soil which in turn also makes them live long as they are safer from fire

If you didn’t get anything from the few facts I shared, allow me to share my revelation.

The cedar tree is evergreen. That means it’s instant in season and out of season because it is always in season. It’s steadfast no matter what life throws at it. Its beauty is everlasting.

It is fragrant. The woman with the alabaster box poured fragrant oil on the head of Jesus. When the disciples rebuked her for wasting such expensive oil, Jesus responded that she did it for His burial. Now, I’m not sure exactly what the oil was, however, the Ancient Egyptians used the oil from the cedar in the burial process, so we can closely assume that this may have been the oil that this woman used to anoint the head of Jesus .

Cedar was used in building Solomon’s Temple. It was used as an insulator. It was also very expensive, as you can imagine. Nothing in Solomon’s Temple was cheap. Only the best was used.

Let’s get to the heart of this subject to get an even deeper revelation.

Ezekiel 31:3-7

Indeed, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon, with fine branches that shaded the forest, and of high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs

The waters made it grow; underground waters gave it height, with their rivers running around the place where it was planted, and sent out rivulets to all the trees of the field. Therefore, it’s height was exalted above all the trees of the field; its boughs were multiplied, and its branches became long because of the abundance of water as it sent them out.

All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; under its branches all the beasts of the field brought forth their young, and in its shadow, all great nations made their home.

Thus, it was beautiful in greatness and in the length of its branches because its roots reached to abundant water.

The seeds take 2-3 years to mature. When you are planting seeds in someone’s life, don’t expect overnight success. That loved one you have been praying for may not come around for a long time.

Once  the seed is mature enough to plant, don’t be discouraged by the slow growth. Cedar trees are very slow growing, but there is a good reason. All you may see is a twig, but underneath the surface, something major is taking place. You can’t see it, but roots are growing. They’re not just growing a few inches, they are growing deep. They are growing so deep that they can sometimes reach underground water…abundant water.

A tree that is deeply rooted can withstand any storm. Think about the trees in the mountains. The winds are constantly blowing. The cedar is flexible and can bow with the wind, but they do not break. Their roots are holding them to solid ground.

Who cares how ugly that cedar starts off as. Its beauty is more than skin-deep. Strength is needed to live long and prosper, and as the roots are growing deeper, it is growing in strength. The point is that we need to be rooted and grounded in Christ

A cedar also grows up. Once the roots are established, the cedar starts growing tall. We need to grow up, we need to mature, we need to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord.  There is a time for the cedar to stay scrawny, but there also comes a time for the cedar to grow up.

As the cedar grows up, it also grows out and this is where it all comes together. Because of the density of its leaves and the year around shade, the cedar makes a very good refuge for all sorts of animals. Birds and squirrels make their nests in its branches. As mentioned above, all kinds of wildlife make their home in the hollowed out trunks of the trees. Animals and even people seek refuge under the shade, as it is a great place of protection from the weather elements.  Do people come to you and sit in your presence? Maybe you are a person who exudes an atmosphere of great peace. People don’t know why they like to be around you, but they do. Maybe people come to you to talk. You have something to offer people, you listen and you give good sound advice. Maybe you are able to give a person a place to stay. These are all examples of cedar tree qualities.

If you don’t get deeply rooted, and grow up and extend outward you will never be of any use to anybody.

The cedar tree has an uncanny ability to protect itself and others. Pests and insects are repulsed by the unpalatable resin and oils. Even the leaves are covered in a thick coat of wax that prevents the loss of water.

Boxes and trunks are made to keep items of great value in, all because of the protective quality of the wood.

I don’t know about you, but after looking at the life of a cedar tree, I want those qualities in my own life. Even if it takes time, I want to get rooted and grounded in the water of God’s word. I want to grow strong and be able to withstand the storms of life. I want to mature as a Christian  and become a fragrant offering to God. I want to repel the enemy that tries to attack, and most of all, I want my boughs to extend out to help others in need. Then, I want to be used to build the Temple of God. What a full circle life!

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