The fall decorations are packed away for another year, and Christmas trees, lights, and ornaments are showing up everywhere. As we decorate our homes with family treasures, I’m reminded of those who lost everything in last year’s hurricane. But with God, there was always hope.
Christmas still happened for those people, and there was hope. Isaiah wrote, “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots,”…a reminder that with God, there is always hope, and the ancient people understood such a metaphor. But the modern world needs explanation.
It refers to the olive tree, a tree that can live to be thousands of years old because it regenerates itself in a remarkable way. As the olive tree ages, the heart of the tree—breaks—splits down the middle—and the tree becomes two trees. Then, both trees begin to die! But miraculously, a “shoot” springs up from the center of the two trees and becomes the supporting member for the dying trees. And the prophet says: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” A message of hope. A Messiah will come…
God did not abandon His people in ancient times or today. God sent a Savior, and he was a descendant, a “shoot” of the tree of Jesse. And that same hope exists today. Cling to that message of hope. Jesus will come again. Your hope in Him will serve you well in times of trouble.