About Roadsides And Trees

Shortly after the end of the Second World War, in June 1945, the children in our school in Holland were told that in the very near future, Winston Churchill was going to be driven past our school. We knew who he was; we had learned about him in school. We were aware of the fact that he had been very instrumental in bringing peace to the Netherlands after years of occupation.

On the morning that he was to come by in an open car, we were all lined up on the street in front of the school: long rows of children — the little ones in front and the taller ones in the back. As I recall, we had to wait for quite a while, but finally we saw some motorcycles in the distance, followed by a car, and then more motorcycles following the car. They were going fairly slowly. Mr. Churchill was making his well-known "V for Victory" sign and smoking a big cigar, for which he was also well known. In a very few minutes, they were gone.

I thought about this event when I was studying the passage about Zacchaeus, an unpopular tax collector, who wanted to see and listen to Jesus. There was word that Jesus was coming through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem:

Luke 19:3 – And [Zacchaeus] sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. (NKJV)

Since he was just a little man, he probably would have ended up with the children in the front row along the side of the street, so he probably did not want to stand with the rest of the people. Instead, he ran ahead and climbed into a sycamore tree so that he could see better, and he was rewarded.

Luke 19:5 – When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house." (NKJV)

The children at my school were looking for Mr. Churchill to go by, but it was a long wait. Some of us were looking elsewhere; some of us lost interest; others were not paying attention; and before we knew it, he was gone.

There are so many people standing along the road of life who miss Jesus coming to them. There are some who are too busy, some who have no interest in Him, and others who are too occupied with other things. But there are also those of us like Zacchaeus who have questions. And when we do, it is great to know that we can come down from our tree of doubt and unbelief and come to Jesus. When we accept Him as Saviour and Lord, then we can hear the same words Jesus spoke to Zacchaeus: "Today salvation has come to this house." (Luke 19:9 NKJV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times when we, too, doubt and worry and have questions. We know that through prayer and through faith, we can come to You and You will give us strength to cope. We thank You, in Jesus' name. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    Dear Joel,
    I enjoyed the way you connected your experience to the story of Zacchaeus; great job!


    What an experience to remember and a good application.


    Good stuff Joel, thanks!
    Blessings.


    Thank you Joel for this devotional. May we never miss the Lord’s direction for our lives. Blessings.


    Dear Joel,
    Thanks for the thought for today.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for your devotional with the Churchill sighting. A nice analogy with the Zaccheus story!
    Blessings.


    Good morning Joel,
    Thanks for this email. Receiving it twice has given me an additional opportunity to think of my life during the Second World War.
    I grew up in Bermuda and often wondered if the fear at night that the Island would we wiped out with a bomb may have given me this high blood pressure I have suffered all my life. But I guess is is inherited. Only the Lord knows and I leave it in His care.
    God bless,
    (B.C.)


    Very helpful devotional.