The trees in the backyard were “clapping.” It was a very icy morning in December, when all the branches on the trees were swaying back and forth in the breeze. It was making a sound akin to someone haphazardly playing the chimes on a drum set.
Several months before that, a bible verse was brought to my mind. Still having a hard time with the impending move and my emotions going in every direction, the verse was a hard one to swallow.
The verse was,
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (N.I.V.)
Having dismissed the part about “going out in joy” and hoping the house wouldn’t sell, I put it into the back of my mind for some time. My husband and I had the house for sale off and on for a couple years. We had just decided to take it off the market again until at least Spring. Whew. I was off the hook again for a while.
In the meantime, before we took it off the market, one last couple looked at the house, made an offer, and ended up buying it. I was suddenly in a mad scramble of packing, giving, and throwing away for the next five weeks.
That December morning, when I opened the back door to take pictures and a video, the verse popped back into my mind.
Ok, God…I will be going out in peace-not so much joy, unless you provide a miracle…and we don’t have mountains, but we definitely have a hill, and the trees are obviously “clapping their hands.” I get it. You’re trying to tell me something here.
God repeated himself, as he often does, to get our attention. We had not one ice storm, but two within a few days…right in the middle of trying to move. The second time, I opened the back door again, and heard the same type of noise. The hills were clapping their hands again.
It was a beautiful sight, as the sun was glistening like diamonds on the trees. The icy branches were clacking together and chunks of ice would drop down, knocking many other branches on the way down. The ice chunks were shattering into a million tiny pieces as they reached the ground.
Leaving the house on that last afternoon, I hugged Cliff in the garage before we each got into our cars. All the emotions of the preceding months came crashing in. I had asked him to wait for me, although he had errands and things to do. I didn’t want to leave the house the last time all by myself. The moment was short. I wanted to linger but didn’t.
God was faithful. He had Cliff lead me forth in peace. He drove out of the driveway ahead of me. We had peace, although I carried sadness. Part of my heart stayed there as I drove out for the last time. The future was uncertain, but I knew this was the right thing to do.
The hills were going to “burst forth in song” as they again would observe another young family enjoying the acreage and home.
My thoughts have gone to trees quite often lately. There’s been reminders about how significant they are. Yes, we see hundreds, maybe thousands of them in a days’ time, depending on where you live. Often I don’t give them a second thought. Trees can teach, evoke memories, and give us gifts. They are a wonderful creation.