Topic:The Tree Whisperer
Bible in a Year:
Jeremiah 30–31 Philemon
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.
Some call him the “tree whisperer.” Tony Rinaudo is, in fact, World Vision Australia’s tree maker. He’s a missionary and agronomist engaged in a thirty-year effort to share Jesus by combating deforestation across Africa’s Sahel, south of the Sahara.
Realizing stunted “shrubs” were actually dormant trees, Rinaudo started pruning, tending, and watering them. His work inspired hundreds of thousands of farmers to save their failing farms by restoring nearby forests, reversing soil erosion. Farmers in Niger, for example, have doubled their crops and their income, providing food for an additional 2.5 million people per year.
In John 15, Jesus, the creator of agriculture, referred to similar farming tactics when He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (vv. 1–2).
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Without the daily tending of God, our souls grow barren and dry. When we delight in His law, however, meditating on it day and night, we are “like a tree planted by streams of water” (Psalm 1:3). Our leaves will “not wither” and “whatever [we] do prospers” (v. 3). Pruned and planted in Him, we’re evergreen—revived and thriving.