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Outdoor Truths: Aiming Outdoorsmen Toward Christ Aug. 30TH
I was blessed in my early adult years to work in the mountains. I was on a core drill crew. Our job was to drill a hole deep within the ground in order to find out what strata laid below. I literally spent a few years getting up every morning and going to work surrounded by nature. I learned a lot about trees, plants and animals from those who had spent their lives in these places. Those are still some of the very best memories of my life.
One of the things that made a lasting impression on me was the massive Chestnut trees that we would find laying on the ground that had succumbed to blight. In the early 1900’s this blight began to attack this certain tree and within the next few decades nearly every Chestnut tree of any size was destroyed. The only remnants of these once proud trees were scattered on the forest floor. This tree was once so common that most barns were made from its wood.  I wished that I would have had the opportunity to see one of these trees upright, but I never did, and never have since. I do, however, remember taking a chainsaw and cutting into one of those trees that had been dead for several years. To my surprise, just below the surface, the wood was strong and beautiful.
Today, Chestnut wood is not only rare but expensive. Some of the most beautiful items come from this once common wood. What was once used on a barn is now used only on the most extravagant possessions. What the farmer had was once plain but now it’s priceless. But what brought about this change of value? Death. Yes, death. Without death the Chestnut would have been just another tree, as common as a Poplar or Pine. But in dying, what was once of very little value, now has great worth.
This is the picture of Christ. His living brought us great teaching and moral guidelines. But so did many other philosophers of that day. It was not His living that gave you and me value to God. It was His dying. In His dying we found out how much we were really loved by God. In His dying we found out the price of our pardon. And in His dying we found out that every one of us has worth.
If you ever wonder if God really cares about you and your circumstances, just look at the cross. It was nothing more than a tree until the Son of God hung on it.

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