Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the four corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."
Finally the third tree said, I never want to be cut down. "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the entire forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and of God our creator, and think of how close to him I am. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."
After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees.
When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell this wood to a carpenter," and he began cutting it down. The first tree was very happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.
At the second tree the woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell this wood to the shipyard." The second tree was also very happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was extremely frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would never come true. The woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree, so I'll take this one", and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was not made into a treasure chest, but instead was made into a lowly feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what this first tree had been praying for all these years and he felt utter sadness and hopelessness.
The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. Like the first tree he too was terribly sad.
The third tree suffered even a worse fate. He was cut into large pieces, thrown down upon the dirt in a filthy shack, and left all alone in the dark. Complete and utter sadness and despair engulfed him.
The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams and simply existed in their sad and unfulfilled lives. But then one day, a man and woman came to the barn where the first tree sat full of hay for the animals. Soon she gave birth to a beautiful little baby and they placed the baby in the hay that was in the feed box, that was made from the first tree. The man that was with the woman wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger filled with hay would have to do. The tree could instinctively feel the tremendous importance of this event and knew that he was holding the greatest treasure of all time. He had the tremendous pleasure of holding the saviour of the world. The great sadness that this tree had carried for so many years suddenly was transformed into incredible joy and honor.
Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. Suddenly the tree knew that he was carrying the King of Kings. Now this little tree was filled with tremendous joy. This little tree bubbled with delight for having the great honor of carrying the Son of God.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree who was so very sad because he had laid undisturbed in darkness for so many years. He was placed upon the back of a man and was carried through the streets, and the people mocked the man whose shoulders he was on. Suddenly this little tree realized who this man was and the unbelievable importance that he was to play through out all of eternity. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to this tree and then raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. All this little tree ever dreamed of was standing tall and being as close to God as possible and now here he was actually touching and cradling his creator.
The moral of this little story is that when things don't seem to be going the way that you think that they should, then it is all the more reason to put your complete trust in Jesus Christ. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.