The book is titled “The Beautiful Tree of Life,” and I found it in a used book store in Budapest about 6 years ago.
I bought this book because of it’s title, 1891 copyright, vintage cover and winsome illustrations.
And I've used it to accent my home decor a number of different ways since buying it. In fact, it's been on a shelf or part of my decor in three different homes.
I hadn't kept any special track of it. But one day last year I decided to put it in an old suitcase on the hearth of my fireplace, thinking it looked pretty there.
The following morning, I woke up sad and discouraged. There were a million reasons to be thankful, but one particular disappointment in my life had long been troubling me.
As I was praying (a little hopelessly) about this situation, my eyes were drawn to “The Beautiful Tree of Life” sitting in that little suitcase, and I noticed a small piece of paper sticking above one of its pages.
On closer examination, I found this little paper scrap was marking a page, so I opened it to read this text:
“God Makes No Mistakes. If God sends you tribulation you can get out of despondency simply by being patient under suffering, and you can be patient under it because you know God means the best for you..."
"In that comforting twelfth chapter of the Epistle of the Hebrews we are specially assured that God makes no mistakes in the chastening tribulation which he sends to us..."
"Afterward it shall work out the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Thus assured we can be patient..."
Tears rolled down my cheeks as I realized this message was for me.
God wants to speak to us and He can do it in some unconventional ways. When He speaks, it will always agree with His words in Scripture, but He can use any method He wishes, even a vintage blue book.
- An obscure author from the 1800’s
- A series of events over many years that brought an English book to a used book store in Budapest
- My attraction to a vintage cover
- A marker left years earlier on a particular page
- My decision to use a book on my mantle at that point in time exactly where it would catch my eye the morning I was discouraged.
If so, then we serve a God of “coincidences”—a God who wants to speak to us, assure us, rebuke us, train and instruct us.
Do you need a word from God today?
Could it be right in front of you?
If you'd like an espresso shot of Scripture in your morning latte, checkout Gail's site Bible Love Notes, which features a 1-minute devotion each weekday morning. And sign up for a free subscription while you're there.
To see more illustrations from this book, you can find them on Bible Love Note's The Blue Book. While Gail sends subscribers only 1-minute devotions, her site also features creative posts like this as well as marriage posts.