The Killer Tree!

Matapalo_o_higuerote_(Ficus_elástica)Lester Sumrall tells of an interesting plant in Central America which is often shown to the visitor. It is known as the Mata Palo or Killer Tree and is a botanical “boa constrictor.” This parasitical growth often begins its life by being blown into the fork of a tree by the wind and takes root by clinging to the bark. It lives on the lifeblood of the tree as it starts its growth and soon sprouts tiny tendrils which grow slowly toward the ground. When it comes to live on a tree, it appears to be quite harmless, but the fact is, the moment it arrives, death begins for its victim.

The Mata Palo drops its roots to the ground and secures a permanent foundation; then begins to encircle the healthy tree and imbibes its life from hundreds of points. After a few months the parasite is flourishing with life and growing rapidly (through it is an ugly growth) and the once healthy tree begins to show signs of disease and decay. The great tree loses its leaves; its strong limbs droop from lack of life and ultimately, it perishes while wrapped around it from the base of the trunk to its top is a hideous, serpentine vine. It looks so pitiful that a stranger can scarcely realize that it was once a giant of strength and a specimen of grace and beauty. It amazes the visitor to learn that the great tree was defeated by a small, insignificant seed which chanced to fall on its bough.

In the lives of humans there are little things which, by growing in our lives, become big things. Frequently they appear to be entirely innocent but become deadly to our moral or spiritual life. They choke the fruit-bearing strength of character and virtue and become the very tentacles of Satan which entwine our souls, despoiling the once choice life. We must deal with these tiny seeds before they become strong and capable of utter destruction.

Sadhu Sundar Singh once said, “Beware of the small sins.  They are the most dangerous.  They are like germs that cause disease.”

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. Song of Songs 2:15 NIV

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