One of my favorite things to do is take a walk in a forest. I love trees. Being close to many different types of trees helps me notice certain features about them: their size and shape as well as the particular characteristics of their leaves. Especially during fall, this is an exercise in delight. The leaves changing colors and floating to the ground right in front of me is like watching a painting in progress – a work of art only God can create.
Taking note of the intricate design of leaves, the route of gnarly tree roots and various designs of tree bark is something that can only be done close at hand. Once I walked through a small area of a forest that had been harvested. Before reaching the site, it appeared there were no trees at all in that spot. When I got close, I found the area had been replanted. Small trees would someday grow tall, house birds, and provide shade for small animals.
Viewing the forest from a distance, such as from above in an airplane or from a car passing by, would render these details inaccessible. That view is also beneficial, however, as it gives a different and important perspective. Each tree in a forest is part of the whole. Without individual trees, the forest would not exist. Together, they are something more than they are alone.
I am often reminded that God’s perspective includes both the forest and the trees. While my perspective is often determined by my experience, a point in time or my location, I know God does not have those limitations. He truly does have the big picture. He can focus on the minute details of the tree and see the forest as a whole at the same time. The smallest detail is a part of His plan. His perspective includes the details of my life along with everyone else’s.
Knowing God created the tree and the forest and sees intricate details of one tree as well as the entire forest at the same time helps me cope with unknown elements of my future. No detail in my life is inconsequential in His plan. The small things in life are significant because they are part of the whole.
The trees of the Lord are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which He planted, where the birds make their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees…O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions (Psalm 104:16, 17, 24).