Recently, my husband handed me a children’s book that his friend and colleague had written. I read it with anticipation, for I knew the author was a born again believer and his heart is to honor God in all he does. The book, “Be a Tree: A Journey From Start to Finish” by Joel Howard, exceeded my expectations. I say this, not just because he’s a friend, but because I’m a mother and children’s ministry leader looking to find excellent children’s books that speak the truth of God to my children, and this book does just that!
“Be a Tree” shares the truth of our God-given identity, purpose, the Holy Spirit’s voice over us, and the magnificence of our Creator, all from the perspective of a seed. It tackles the childhood questions of ‘what will I be when I grow up?’, and ‘what is my purpose?’. But it also reminds the believing adult who reads this book with their child to not forget the simplicity of our calling. As I read this book, I felt the Holy Spirit’s voice gently speaking over me, “Be a Tree, Be a Tree”. My mind went to every reference of a tree in the scriptures.
Psalm 1:3 went through my head. “He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water. Which yields it fruit in its season and its leaf does not whither, and in whatever he does he prospers.”
Psalm 52:8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and he who is wise wins souls.
Matthew 7:17-19 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Isaiah 55:12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees in the field will clap their hands.
I could go on and on with references to trees in the Bible, but what strikes me about the book “Be a Tree”, is that it is a call to be who God created you to be. When you’re unsure of the process and the journey it takes you on, remember to be who God created you to be. When you question your beauty and compare yourself to others, remember to be who God created you to be. When you question your worth and purpose in this world, remember to be who God created you to be. When you wonder if there is anything special about you, remember to be who God created you to be. The God of the universe, the One who speaks over you, is with us on the journey. ‘Be a Tree’ reminds us of this and that the journey is part of the miracle!
In a world that wants to speak confusion, death, and destruction over my children, my heart is delighted to read a children’s book that is uplifting to my children and their spirit. If you need a new book on your bookshelf, whether at home, school, or in your children’s ministry, I highly recommend “Be a Tree: A Journey From Start to Finish” by Joel Howard. Get it Today!