As I struggled to reach the top of a steep hill, a lovely tree captured my attention. It stood proudly straight and tall waving brightly green-clad arms against the sky. When I reached the crest of the hill, I saw the tree’s secret. Her trunk had been so badly cut, slashed and smashed at the bottom that a huge chunk of it had separated from the rest of the trunk and stood crumbling and decaying.
“How like us,” I thought. “Injured, severely injured with perhaps a part of us dead or in the process of dying. And, yet, like the tree – we keep standing. Like the tree – we keep growing. Like the tree – what doesn’t make us bitter makes us better and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. We are just like that lovely tree with our injured damaged parts hidden from the world by the showy part we don to fool others.”
God loves us so much that He sent His own Son Jesus to die in our place. God does hear our prayers, He does answer our prayers. But God does not keep affliction from touching the lives of Christians. Psalm 119:67 says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now I keep Your word.” Sometimes it takes a trial or affliction to open our ears to God.
Sometimes the injuries and hidden hurts we suffer shine a beauty on our lives that make us attractive to others and useful to God.
Our part is to trust God and keep standing.