Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Pileated Woodpecker

My husband and I have a mature cedar tree growing just inside the edge of our driveway. Three tall limbs sprout out in diverse directions close to the ground. One limb leans toward our house; the second points toward our neighbour’s driveway; and the third stretches out over our driveway. For many years I admired this tree until ants invaded its base. Not long afterward woodpeckers began pecking holes in the tree. Once I even spied a small woodpecker in the act.

We hoped the tree would survive the consistent onslaught of fresh holes—until a few weeks ago. As we drove past the tree into the garage, we noticed a huge hole, egg-shaped, about eight inches high and four inches wide. Chunks of wood lay in a heap at the base of the tree. Only a pileated woodpecker could have made such a huge hole so quickly. At that moment we knew the tree was completely rotten inside. It had to go.

People are born in sin; we are like that tree—completely rotten inside. That is why God declares everyone to be spiritually dead. This includes our wills. Paul writes, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Ephesians 2:1, 2, NIV).

The Holy Spirit is the only one capable of restoring spiritually dead people to spiritual life. Praise God! He did it for me. Has he done it for you?