When we arrived at Pearl Harbor many years ago, I remember staring at this tree and thinking, my goodness someone has built a shelter in that tree. As I looked at it closer, I realized that those sticks seemingly holding the tree up, are in fact the tree. In the Bible people that are close to God are on occasion referred to as well watered trees or trees planted by a stream of water (Jeremiah 17:7,8; Psalm 1:3).
This tree depicts Paul's words to the Thessalonians, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Each of those sticks represents all of us in the Body of Christ building up our friends in the faith. The Lord has given us so many resources to strengthen us in our life with Him, but the words of encouragement of brothers and sisters also, contribute to our resilience and strength during difficult times.
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:23-25