The Empty Way of Life



Walking along the side of the lake, I noticed a palm tree.

Palm trees are quite plentiful here—there’s nothing unusual about seeing them–except for this one.

This one was different.

Vastly different.

As I stood very close to it, my eyes were drawn to a gaping hole, perhaps twenty inches long, exposing the fact that inside this tree was…..nothing.

Nothing at all.

It was hollow.

Not much was left of the outer shell of bark.

What surprised me was not the fact that I had come across a hollow tree. What puzzled me then (and still puzzles me, now) was the fact that several feet above this empty tree was a healthy, living section, complete with green palm fronds.

Hmmm. Dead tree, living tree, same tree. How was that possible?

It looked as if, somehow, a living tree had been attached to the dead tree, high in the air and ….it lived!

Maybe someday I will have this occurance explained to me, but for now, it is a mystery; one that I cannot deny.

In the book of I Peter, chapter one, verses 17-21 we read,

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,  but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.  Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

As Christians, we have been redeemed. Redeemed from an empty way of life.

We were dead in our sins, condemned.

It was Jesus who redeemed us by His sacrifice for us. In accepting this gift and inviting Him to be the Lord of our lives, repenting of our sin, we live again.

We live a new life, leaving the old one behind.

Reaching and growing ever toward the One who loves us, our empty lives remain only in the past.

Are we somewhat like that tree?

I don’t know about you, but I can easily picture my life characterized by it.

Empty and hollow, unappealing and brittle–until, one day, Jesus rescued me from myself, bringing a new start.

A new life.

Today, as I have green fronds waving in the wind, I owe it all to my Savior, Jesus.

If your life is empty, shallow and hopeless, don’t give up.

There is One who can bring new life to you.

Won’t you put your trust in Him?

Everything will change.

Put your faith and hope in God.





0 comments on “The Empty Way of Life

  1. dea3dmz says:

    Okay, so first of all, thank you for sharing your amazing talent with all of us…the way you tie the beauty of God’s world into lessons for all of us to read, your God-given wisdom. Thank you. Secondly, you’ve probably heard this before, but you should compile these into a book or volumes of books. I would be first in line to purchase several…one for me and LOTS to share. God bless you. I am a friend of Mary Jo Upleger’s and learned of you and a bit of your story just by following her on FB. Don’t know alot of your story, but am touched by what I do know. I will keep you, your family and your ministry in my prayers. Thanks again. Denise Johnston-Burris, Albion, NY

  2. Gwen Powell Hughson says:

    I read this passage and message because one of my former fourth grade students, Densise Johnston Burris had it on her FB page, so I decided to check it out. It’s very well written and has a lot to tell us about our lives here on earth. Thanks to you both!

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