A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (Isa. 11:1)

THE FIVE TREES my son carefully planted back on Arbor Day in May made it through the summer and fall mowing seasons. Metal cones protected them from injury by the blades. They were watered regularly during the July heat, and mulch was applied to insulate their roots from the elements. Now, as the air turns cold, and snow and ice are sure to come, I wonder how our five tiny saplings will fair through the winter.

Isaiah repeatedly foretold the birth of a Messiah who would come from the line of Jesse. Though the royal line of Judah would be cut down, another branch from David’s line would grow. This would be the promised Savior, and He would bear fruit and rule forever. Just as was prophesied in Isaiah, Christ Jesus did come. He brought salvation and an eternal kingdom.

When winter ends and spring arrives in a few months, I will be anxious to see which of our five saplings have survived the winter weather and winds. As with most things in life, tiny trees come with no guarantees of survival. We will be pleased if three of them grow another year.

Unlike Arbor Day trees, the fruitful branch Isaiah spoke about will always endure. He will reign forever and ever. Whatever the weather, we can be sure of that!

Rest always under the shady peace of the Messiah, and bear fruit for His kingdom.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor, turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.