Song of Solomon 2:3

As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

When we think of trees on a golf course, we instantly consider them to be unnecessary obstacles which grab golf balls and ruin seemingly great shots. Not only do they affect shots, but they alert the whole course of our mishap with an unmistakable loud bang. However, many trees on a golf course are strategically placed for a valuable purpose. They are used to protect golfers in an adjacent fairway or shelter a nearby teeing area.

Trees have many uses as some provide great shade or shelter on a hot day while others are fruit bearing providing us physical nourishment. A “wood” tree loses its leaves and a fruit bearing tree only produces fruit for a season. We, however, are in need of constant nourishment and shelter. A spiritual nourishment beyond respite from heat and physical hunger. Many things in our lives can provide sustenance, but only temporarily. Our faith in Jesus Christ is able to provide the spiritual fruit the soul desires. Shade is good, but the ability for coverage falters in the fall as she loses her leaves.

Some trees on golf courses provide markers for distances and proper lines into a hidden green. The larger and older they grow, so does their significance. I often wonder how many golfers through the decades have hit this particularly large and strategically placed tree on our home course. He has been hit with different types of balls from hickory shafted drivers, blade irons, and forged irons. He has withstood lightning, wind storms, droughts, freezing temperatures, and snow storms. This particular tree, however, is beginning to show vulnerability. His limbs are beginning to break off and his leaves are not as plentiful as before. Our Savior and the means of salvation have withstood generations and generations without any worry or signs of faltering. He has withstood scientists and rebuke from religious experts. Further, He has survived rejection from a lost and disobedient people. Not only is it great to be standing in his shadow, but His spiritual nourishment is sweet to the taste. We are symbolically the branches and forever attached to Him. Even though we may be shaken by the storms of life, He is forever our shadow and protection. Our ability to bear fruit is not isolated to a season. Let us strive to be a loving, humble and tender hearted people providing a similar shadow to a society in need of shade.

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