19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8

I am reminded again today of some things that I have repeatedly sensed as we traveled down the road to our destination in Texas for a few weeks. And as I have repeatedly sensed this pheromone, it still remains as a somewhat difficult thing to articulate.

Oftentimes, when I have taken walks or even as I have driven, I look fleetingly at various trees and I see them not only as merely a tree, but something that represents a higher purpose. I see the form before me but the object itself makes me consider that this tree itself is something that reflects a future panoramic view of what may come. As I say, it's not something that I can adequately put into words, but only the 'sense' of what this is to me is what I feel in my spirit.

We are told that nature itself is longing for the revealing of the Sons of God, as they come forth upon the earth. All nature is groaning in anticipation of this event, as if they also will be released from their bondage.

As I endeavor to communicate this thought, my vision of these things is actually the same; the appearance of the tree, flower, or bush, remains the same. It's as if the tree is in itself, an arch-type of something else. And yet, this is not to imply that the tree itself is only something that represents something else. However, we know that nature itself goes through changes as every season is seen, and then it decays, and new life comes with the spring. But nature itself is groaning because it has been going through growing pains. And in saying this, we also are in growing pains as we await our adoption as Sons and Daughters. To be sure, we are already adopted into the family of God and as His children, but there is a higher impartation and revelation of our Son-ship, as the days approach for the coming of our Lord.

Jesus said to the Jews that if possible, even the stones would cry out in their reverberations when He rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. It’s not to say by any means, that rocks and stones, and trees and flowers can speak, and yet because they are part of creation, their very fiber knows of their purpose, and their purpose is in seeing the revealing of the Sons of God.

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, 'Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.' 40 But Jesus answered, ' I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!' Luke 19

I am not speaking of a universal 'sense' that is echoed in Eastern thought and religion in this message, for Hinduism and Buddhism, speak of a “oneness” that holds everything together, and that through this 'oneness' one can then reach a level of understanding that is beyond good and evil. That is an entirely different mode of thinking than what I am arriving at here.

But through our suffering and tribulations, in time the fruit will be seen as our character takes on the character of Christ. The pruning and the trials will pay off, if we are patient and endure through the myriad of ordeals that we go through. It is very much like a woman who finally gives birth after nine months, and the baby is delivered. We then along with all of creation are finally delivered, and a new image, a new child, emerges.

And so the image of the tree that I have seen repeatedly echoes these spiritual principles. Their form somehow is illuminated in a future representation of a new heaven and a new earth. We know that this earth will eventually be replaced and that the old will be done away with. And we also will be liberated as we are given a new spiritual body, and this earthly tent that we now live in will be released.

Stephen Hanson