Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Mimosa Tree

The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Planted in the house of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God.  They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green, to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.  Psalms 92:12-15
I never really knew my mother’s father.  Most of my memories of him are from pictures and stories that were told.  He died of cancer when I was very young.  The most familiar memory I have of him is not from something he did but something he loved…mimosa trees.  In Cleveland, Ok at his graveside there was a mimosa planted that I would see every time we visited his grave.  But even closer to my life was the mimosa tree planted in the backyard of our home on Louisville Street in Tulsa, OK.
That poor little mimosa tree never had a chance.  They are no known to be tall trees in the best of conditions but I don’t think this one ever managed to grow over four feet tall.  It served a lot of purposes for two boys’ games and activities in the backyard.  Sometimes it was third base for a ball game.  It was helpful running the bases because you could grab hold of it to swing yourself toward home plate.  It was also the spot where we would stake out the dog so he wouldn’t interfere slashing the bark and bending it like a noodle.  While driving around the yard in the little red lawnmower-powered car that dad made, it frequently found itself between the wheels and passing under the car.  But somehow it survived!
Now, permit me to fast forward a bit to my adult life and the battle I had with mimosa shoots coming up between my neighbor’s back fence and our own.  It was then I determined that a mimosa was not a tree but a weed!  Trim them close to the ground, douse with them with kerosene, pull them loose and they just kept coming back.  Descriptions of the tree use words like “very hardy” and “adapt to almost any soil condition”.  They need to add “child resistant”.  As I assaulted those mimosa “vines” I wanted to have a talk with my grandfather!
One characteristic of the mimosa tree is that is does not branch and bloom until it matures.  That small stem is the only visible promise of a tree that will bear some beautiful blooms.  These blooms are the beauty of this small tree and brighten the yards where they flower.
I’ve thought about that little tree a lot lately.  The perseverance to withstand all of the trouble that comes in life does not bear its fruit until much later.  Sometimes we are so impatient to see the fruit our disciplines that we cease to maintain them out of frustration.  But remember, the fruit doesn’t come until it matures.  That is exactly what the Bible teaches in Romans 5:3-5, And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  NASB
So if you feel that all of your efforts in trying to survive are in vain, remember the mimosa.  The desired fruit will come with maturity.
Scripture to Claim:
"But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.”  Luke 8:15 NASB

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