Three trees on a hillside

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
People all over the world celebrate Christmas in different ways. Legends, family stories, and sheer traditions make us aware of just how different, and yet alike, we are. One of the things I like to do is to find a new or different story each year to share with my grands, great grands, and our church family about this holiday I love. This is one of my all time favorites.

Three little trees stood on a snowy mountain top. They often had conversations about what they wanted to become when they were mature. “Oh, I want to grow up and become a valued treasure chest. I hope to be filled with precious jewels, gold and silver,” said the first tree.

The second tree looked out and saw a pretty, clear little stream traveling down the mountain side. He knew it would grow and grow and eventually join the waters of the beautiful ocean. He cheerfully announced he wanted to become a mighty sailing vessel and carry precious cargo and famous people.

The third tree was more reflective and did not answer so quickly. He finally said, “I don’t really want to be hewn down, and I don’t want to leave the mountain. I just want to grow taller and taller so that when people look at me, they will be looking up toward God and Heaven.”

Time passed by and one early morning, new sounds were heard on the mountaintop. The sun had shone and the rains had come and the trees had indeed grown. A woodcutter came near and his powerful, shiny axe was across his back. He stopped nearest the first tree and thought, “This tree is perfect for what I need.” He cut it down and started dragging it down the mountain to make a feeding box for animals.

A second woodcutter choose the second tree and begin to cut it down to make a small fishing vessel for a friend. The third tree stood completely still hoping he would not be noticed. He just wanted to live out his life pointing toward the clouds and Heaven. But, alas, the third woodcutter murmured, “This one will do for what I need,” and he swung his axe strongly felling the tree quickly.

The first tree was dismayed to think animals would eat from this feeder. He would be filled with hay and straw. The second tree was perplexed when he was taken to a smelly fishing village to be made into a small vessel. “Oh, no, this is not what I imagined,” he cried. The third was very confused when the strong woodcutter simply cut him into strong beams and left him in the piles of lumber.

Many days and nights passed and one special evening golden starlight shown down on that little manger and a young woman placed her baby on the straw. That tree was holding the greatest treasure the world had ever known.

That baby grew up and years later, he stepped into that little fishing vessel and taught the people that had gathered to hear his message.

The third tree seemed forgotten and unimportant until one day he was pulled from the old lumber yard and roughly fashioned into a cross. Not at all what he had longed for all those years. Angry, mean, and rough people were going to put that baby in the manger on that cross to be put to death to die for our sins.

God’s plan doesn’t often appear to be our plan. We become confused, sad, and despondent, but if we trust God with our lives, He will surprise us with blessings untold. That is the story of Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at 409 781 8788, or
[email protected]

[BCH: Dec-12-2023]

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One Response to “Three trees on a hillside”

  1. Nancy Blacksher says:

    Thanks Brenda. I had never heard that story before.

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