"She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her." (Proverbs 3:18)
The tree of life in the Garden of Eden was a literal tree, whose marvelous fruit apparently had the medicinal ability to retard the aging process indefinitely, even for men and women under God's curse (Genesis 3:22-24). This amazing tree will be planted again along the streets and rivers of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:2-3).
The writer of Proverbs used this tree and its health-giving qualities as a symbol of four attributes of a God-centered, spiritual life which can bring blessing to all those touched by it. First of all, true wisdom is like a tree of life, imparting true happiness to all those partaking of it, then guarding it.
Next, "the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise" (Proverbs 11:30). A life exhibiting genuine righteousness, like one manifesting genuine wisdom, yields wholesome spiritual fruit to those in real contact with it.
The third figure is given in Proverbs 13:12. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." There is nothing more rejuvenating to the spirit than for a dream suddenly to come true after long-continued hope has almost gone. An abiding, confident, always-continuing life of hope is a tree of life.
Finally, "a wholesome tongue is a tree of life" (Proverbs 15:4). "Wholesome" here means "healing." One can become a veritable tree of life by using his God-given privilege of speech not to complain or criticize; not in vulgarity or foolishness, but to help, encourage, instruct, and comfort.
May God help each of us to be a spiritual tree of life by attaining and demonstrating true wisdom; by living in genuine righteousness; by always maintaining an attitude of confident hope; and by speaking only words of edification that "minister grace unto the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29). HMM