Climbing Trees

UP! aspens

By Judy Villanueva

Luke 19:1-6

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

I love Zacchaeus’ spunk and determination! Even though his profession was dubious and his choices up to this point, questionable, when he hears that Jesus is coming he runs ahead and climbs a tree. Zacchaeus wants to see Jesus and he doesn’t let his stature or a tall crowd get in his way!  Watching him run, climb and sit eagerly perched in a tree tugs at something in my heart this morning…

The tax collector’s curiosity about Jesus, a kind that chases him up a tree, confronts me. Zacchaeus’ determination to go after what would probably be only a glimpse of Jesus invites me to “wake up” with fresh eyes for the coming of Christ in my day. Think about it!

Jesus arrives in our day, every day!  He comes our way and asks if He can stay with us.

How often do I miss Jesus because I’m not even expecting Him and how can I possibly welcome Him with gladness if I don’t even notice His presence in my day?

As I read this passage, my attention shifts to Jesus and I am struck at what happens next! Up in the sycamore tree with Zaccheus, I see Jesus in the distance and my heart begins to race! I, too, have heard stories and find myself longing to hear his voice and see his face. How I want His life to touch mine! To my delight and utter amazement, when He reaches the branch where Zacchaeus and I sit, He looks up!

He knows we are eager for His notice and His notice affirms us in the deepest place of our soul.

I feel taught by Zacchaeus today. He shows me what it looks like to run past curiosity to a tree climbing pursuit of Jesus! Today, I want to remember that Jesus is coming!  I want to be present to life with eager expectation and feel His touch through sweet embraces, the kindness of His Word, and the gentle movements of grace that bless me each day.  I want to welcome Jesus with gladness however He comes to me today!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for looking for me up in trees or wherever I happen to be. Forgive my apathy in not watching for your daily arrivals. Fill me with fresh fervor to climb trees, hang out on branches, and welcome you with gladness. Amen.”

What about you?

Are you tuned in to the commotion that is signaling the coming of Christ in your life today?

Are you curious about Jesus? Who is He?

Is there anything keeping you from seeing Jesus?

Are you watching and waiting for God’s arrival in your day? Are you ready to welcome Him with gladness?

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One thought on “Climbing Trees

  1. Thank for this lovely, encouraging meditation, Judy. May I “wake up” to His arrival in my day – every day!

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