Whoa, stop! Look at that old tree! Huge, twisted and gnarled it presented an extraordinary sight! Its exterior was barkless, smooth and grey. Its thick roots curled around the low wall which contained it, as though they were afraid of the sidewalk. Looking up in wonderment I notice the immense base of the tree was scarred where long ago limbs had been cut off, and its thickly muscled arms were twining around as though in a motion to enfold itself in comfort.
This old man tree had struggled through life and its great beauty was displayed in all the scuffles it had endured. There it sat on a busy street corner for all to see, or ignore, its life traumas. It was an immense giant who had sustained the worst life had to bring, and still stood bravely displaying it’s disfigurement with pride.
I loved that old tree! It was so like life. We go through our days, our years learning how to endure hardship, and along the way when we choose to have a relationship with God, we have His help to work our way through the struggles. I have discovered that when achieving victory over the challenges, we become stronger in endurance and in character.
Psalm 106:8 (AMP)
Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake
[to prove the righteousness of the divine character],
that He might make His mighty power known.
As a parent, I find it quite difficult when kids get into trouble, and it doesn’t necessarily stop when they “grow up” either. They make poor choices that can bring on pain as they deal with the consequences. In growing up years we try and teach them how to choose wisely, but we all make mistakes. We teach them that they have to live with the results of their choices, and in so doing we hope they learn. Painful ramifications are hard on us too, as in loving them we never want to watch our children suffer.
However, suffering and hard times are part of life, and God has promised us to go through them with us, to help us. We can depend on His help, and when we do, the difficult twists and turns of life can build grit and determination into us.
Isaiah 50:7 (AMP)
For the Lord God helps Me;
therefore have I not been ashamed or confounded.
Therefore have I set My face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame
Does this old man tree speak to you too? Have you chosen to have God's help through difficult passages?