Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Bottle Tree

This colorful bottle tree and background crape myrtle blossoms are on display at the local Zoo.  The sign beneath the tree reads:  "The bottle tree has evolved into a unique Southern garden tradition.  Its roots trace back to the African custom of trapping evil spirits in sparkling glass bottles suspended in trees.  Today, the bottle tree brings new purpose and appreciation to empty glass bottles as inexpensive yard art.  Any spirit entrapment is simply a bonus!"

Using pretty bottles as yard art is a cool idea.  Their various colors and shiny exteriors sparkle in the sunlight and offer texture and maybe even a place for birds to alight (if they aren't spooked by the shimmer and slippery surface of the glass). 

The African custom of trapping evil spirits is what intrigues me most about this bottle tree.  Wouldn't it be great if we could trap the evil spirits that circle around us like carrion birds waiting to feed? Perhaps if they were trapped, they could be destroyed in some way -- or at least, their powers might be neutralized.  If only it were that easy...

Scripture tells us, "...Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" 1 Peter 5:8.  There's no way you can hope to trap a lion in a bottle anymore than you could hope to capture an evil spirit in a bottle tree.  In fact, it would be easier to trap a lion in a bottle than to trap an evil spirit.  In other words -- it ain't gonna happen.

Whether we like it or not, Satan has been given temporary freedom to be "the prince of the power of the air," and his hoard of demon spirits are out there flying right beside him -- all of them attempting to wreck havoc on this ole earth.  That could be a pretty scary thought if it were not for One who is Greater than all...

"Greater is He that is within us [the Holy Spirit], than he [Satan and his demons] that is within the world" 1 John 4:4.  Evil spirits may be in the air around us, but God has promised that "...the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer..." 1 Peter 3:12.  We don't need bottles or any other thing than the power of the Holy Spirit of the living God to protect us from the dark forces that would seek to harm us.

If we are filled with the Spirit and standing on the promises of God, any spirit entrapment is more than a bonus -- it's a gift from our loving Father.