Once there were 3 young trees that longed to do something important in this world.
The first tree wanted to become a strong frame for a royal bed. One day some people came to the forest and cut the first tree down. It was hewn into rough pieces and nailed together to form a manger to feed cattle. Eventually it was sold for a pittance and placed in a stable in Bethlehem. The tree was heartbroken because it was reduced to feeding animals. However, one night Mary carefully laid her firstborn child - JESUS - in the manger. The manger trembled with delight. "This is wonderful! I never imagined that I would provide a bed for the Son of God!”
Years passed, and more men came to the forest to chop down the second tree. This tree dreamed of becoming a huge ship for transporting kings. But instead it was used as a small, smelly fishing boat. Eventually a man named Peter purchased it for a modest sum. The little boat was not at all happy. But one day, as it sat on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus of Nazareth stepped into it and began teaching a large crowd. "This is wonderful!" it thought. "I never imagined that the Son of God would use me to preach His word."
More years elapsed, and Romans soldiers came to cut down the third tree. This tree hoped to grow so large that it would testify to the glory of God's creation by providing nests for birds and shade for animals. But the Romans had other ideas. After stripping its branches and bark, they chopped away until only two long, thick beams remained. They then connected the beams to form a cross. The tree was sick. "This is terrible!" it thought. "All I wanted to do was glorify God, and now they are going to kill someone on me!”
Shortly afterwards, a large crowd lined a street in Jerusalem. In the middle of the crowd was Jesus, carrying this tree. Eventually, He was nailed to it. As Jesus was dying, the tree heard Him speak words of compassion and forgiveness. Jesus then died, and the earth shook. Only then did the tree realize the significance of this moment! "This is wonderful! I never imagined that I would glorify God by enabling His Son to die for the sins of the world."
“Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Prov. 19:21)
Jesus, always Jesus!