This is a beautiful tree. It speaks. Look at it intently and listen to it whisper, “endurance.”
Poets memorialize heart-tugging moments in life. Authors, painters, and artists of all media catch fleeting moments of life and expound on them. One word whispers through all the art forms, through all the ages. The same word the tree whispers into the wind, “endurance.”
“All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades…surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:7. Even seaweed blooms, but, oh, so briefly.
It’s God’s job to send the sun and the rain to create blooms. Our job is to endure.
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.