||I was perplexed about what it meant, but I did not pursue its meaning by asking God what it all meant. This mystery remained unsolved for many years.
Then as God started to break me through my Dark Journey, I started to see the vision of the old dead tree as a metaphor for remnants of the old life within me. I came to see it as the old dead structure (of how I related to God, people, and myself) that was left over within me, and that God was going to dismantle through breaking me into Freedom.
This dead structure that had taken root in my heart managed to obscure the perceptions of my conscience and also distorted the image of my true self. The self that was created a new by God in Christ Jesus, and is still under construction even now. This tree like structure had no life in it, yet it grew in size over the years bearing bad fruit with my cooperation.
In a conversation with someone, God showed me that an unbending, harsh, competitive, mean streak was still at work within me. I knew this when I reflected that if I were to get married and have children. Then the first thing that I desired for my children was that they be intelligent. Morally I knew that this was wrong and unacceptable.
I also realized that there was a lot of insensitivity on my part towards others and myself when it came to being smart or stupid. I began to realize that there was some truth in the words: “if you can’t love yourself you can’t love others.” I used to disagree with this, agreeing with a radio preacher that if all we did was to try to love ourselves we would never get around to loving others.
Coming to these conclusions I realized that I needed to work through these issues using the Twelve (Plus Four) Steps. When I did my self-esteem skyrocketed.
I already knew that I could not expect God to give me more things if I wasn’t thankful for what I already had. Instead of only being thankful for the gifts that God did not give to me, I became thankful to God for the gifts that He did give to me. Because God rooted even more of this dead structure out of my heart through my repentance, I became more content with my station in life.