The Tree Grew ‘Round

So sorry for the delay in posting today! Thanks for your patience. I posted this a while back; however, I shared it with our church family yesterday, and it seemed to resonate with so many. So, I thought I would repost it for those who would like to read it…  

There are times in life when you’re just going to find yourself caught between a “rock and a hard place.” The rock won’t move, and the hard place won’t remove itself. Maybe, it’s the day you woke up late for your new job, and your nine month old baby woke up with a stomach virus, or maybe you were laid off right after buying that brand new car. Maybe, your mom has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and your dad began showing signs of dementia last month. 

Maybe your oldest son has been struggling with a hidden drug addiction, trying to sneak around, stealing money from your nightstand, and your youngest daughter has been bullied at the new school. Maybe, your husband seems to be distant, and you just can’t seem to find enjoyment in any of the past delights you two once had. Maybe, you had to say goodbye to a loved one, and you just weren’t ready for that yet. There are times in life when you wish it could be different. You wonder what you’re going to do, how you’re ever going to make it. 

Sometimes, life is hard. It is what it is. There’s really no changing the way the earth spins on its axis or in altering the way the clouds gather in the sky. You’re going to face hard times. I don’t care who you are, how much money you have, or how many people love you, you’re going to have disappointments in this life. You’re going to encounter obstacles in the road. It’s just the way it is, and if you haven’t had any troubles as of yet, well, just keep on living, because every elderly person on the planet can attest to this truth: Life is not always easy, and sometimes, we just have to “weather through the storm.” 

The question is not, “Will trials ever come?” The better question is, “What will I do when the rains come?” If you can ever answer that question before the storms come, you will be much better suited to survive. In that moment, you have a choice to make. You can choose to stop, to hesitate, to allow the circumstances, those hard things, to stunt your growth and keep you from reaching your destiny. You can let that rock hinder you from reaching your dreams. You can even “fold over” on top of yourself and never move beyond where you were in that moment of crisis.  

Or, you can choose to press forward. Paul said, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14) You can choose to be like the tree in this picture that refused to be dwarfed by the rock in the path. You can choose to allow those tough spots to make you stronger, more resilient to the pain. You can choose to find joy in the little things, blessings in those people who surround you in that moment of heartache, and even, just peace in the gentle breeze that blows or warmth in the sun that shines.  

We all have choices which can hold us back from our destiny or propel us toward our dreams. It’s up to us to choose, and when we make that choice of forward determination, our lives will be better for it. Let’s choose to grow ’round that rock that crept into our path on our way to greatness. Let’s be those whose “life tree” may have twists and turns, bends and curves, but whose branches still reach around those hard places up toward the sky.