There’s Always a Tree 

Tree - I'm redeemed. I'm saved, and I know it.

By Janelle Ross

I love Genesis; I really do. Honestly, I could preach a thousand sermons from those in the beginning pages. I mean, that first verse…

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Wow. Like, wow.

So, first He made time because all of a sudden there is a beginning where before there had only been… timelessness… and then He made stuff where there had not been any stuff before. Time where there hadn’t been time, and stuff where there hadn’t been stuff.

Followed by the details, redefining and refining the expanse into diverse spaces, then filling those spaces with life. (I sometimes wonder if, when Eternity frees us from the bonds of time, we will be able to see creation unfold. It would be like the greatest IMAX movie ever.)

Then, family. A man and a woman to inhabit the beautiful place, making it, truly, a home. Walking and talking with God, naked and unashamed, the way Home Sweet Home was meant to be. Humanity enjoying full and completely-satisfying relationships with God and each other, fully secure in their identity as children of God, and NO SHAME.

The thing, though, was the tree. That tree in the middle of all the perfection, unimportant until Evil pointed it out. And then, once seen it could not be unseen. It became The Thing. The unattainable thing that would make what was already so good, better, or so it seemed. This is how temptation works. This is how Evil deceives.

“Eat it,” said the tempter, “and you will be More.” She didn’t think of herself as less, until then. But once she felt less, the temptation of more was too great and they, she and he, accepted what was offered.


I feel “not enough” often – do you? – because now, after the Fall, I am. Now, I am hiding and ashamed. Now, even sacrificially clothed with the blood of my Saviour, as Adam and Eve were clothed sacrificially through the blood of the animals, I struggle to find my full identity in Him.

I am redeemed, yes. But perfect, as in the beginning? No.

Some days my thing, my tree, seems distant and unattractive. But some days- oh my- some days that tree is staring me down, tempting me with what it seems to offer and taunting me with the accusations of all my failures.

It’s a fight to believe. Don’t for a minute think faith is an easy walk. The only success I’ve had is when I turn to that other tree – you know the one- that awful, blood-stained tree. When I kneel there, the rest of the forest fades away. The voices, the taunts, the accusations, the guilt.

I’m redeemed. I’m saved, and I know it. But redemption is not perfection, not yet. But even though the tree tempts, there is that better tree, the cross, and when I keep my eyes on it, I cannot see the other.


  1. Susie Eidem (Seibel) on October 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Wow! Like, Wow! What a gift you have Janelle! Thank you for sharing this gift with us!

    • Janelle on October 23, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      Aw, thanks Susie. I love Genesis!

  2. Kathryn on October 23, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Thank you! That was so inspiring and encouraging. Keep my eye on the right tree! I love how you put thoughts to words. Thank you!

  3. Wendy on October 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Beautiful words, Janelle, so simple but yet… you know… Thank you for being my blessing today!

    • Janelle on October 23, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      Thanks, Wendy ????

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



Recent Comments